My Experience as an Intern at VLK Dallas
Coming into my spring semester as an intern for VLK, my first job in the field of architecture, I wasn’t sure what I was in for. The tools I brought to the table were a couple years of design school experience, a hard work ethic, and a positive attitude. My biggest hope was that I could find a way to add value to the company. Over my seven months, I realized that VLK was simultaneously adding value to me.
VLK has provided me with tools and experiences beyond what I had imagined. First, I was brought up to speed on all of the software necessary for work. I was trained on Revit, Bluebeam and a few other programs. I caught on to the basics fairly quickly, and the rest of my skills were developed through completing specific tasks that were given to me. I have been able to help on numerous projects, doing both exciting and challenging tasks for VLK team members. In addition, I was able to visit a handful of sites undergoing different phases of construction. I was able to ask questions and attended OAC and CA meetings, which were acronyms I had never been taught before I began my internship. What started with assignments broken down into specific tasks has now turned into me being able to start a new project on my own and take a first pass at any type of sheet or detail.
It has been such a privilege to work with, and earn the trust of, many employees at VLK. The office is friendly and inviting and I found my place in Dallas quickly. Being hired in the spring gave me the opportunity to offer a helping hand to our summer interns. This allowed me to solidify what I had learned over the previous three months. I was able to explain my workflow and give direction to the new teammates. I will offer the same advice I was given on my first day: if you are open to learning, VLK will teach you; build relationships, ask a lot of questions, and don’t be afraid to make suggestions to your direct supervisor. Things we have learned in school can be valuable and refreshing to the profession. If you communicate your interests, it is likely VLK will guide you towards exploring them. VLK has a cooperative environment, with people who want to make work an exciting place, and it has been an incredibly valuable experience for me as an Emerging Professional.
Maddy Butler - Texas A&M University '23