NSPJ Student Internship Program

NSPJ’s Architecture Internship Program Part II


In part I, we took a look of that the newly adapted internship program designed for our summer interns. Before they departed for their Fall semester at school, we caught up with our student interns to get their thoughts and reflections on their time with us. We asked them three questions each; here are their responses:

NSPJ Architecture Internship Program at NSPJ Architects
Happy Hour Send Off for the Interns

How was your summer? What did you do?

Kooper: My summer experience at NSPJ was great. I was able to work on a wide variety of projects, gaining experience in apartment unit layout, interior design of public clubhouse spaces, and drawing wall details of various buildings. Particularly, showing every piece that goes into the construction of a wall.

Taylor: During my summer internship I was involved in various multifamily projects. My tasks ranged from executing building elevations in Revit, updating unit plans in Autocad, and creating SketchUp models to be made into interior renderings. Not only did I have a direct hand in producing construction documents, but I was also able to participate in meetings with contractors and learn about graphic and construction standards in Friday Forums [NSPJ holds semi-monthly meetings for internal, peer-to-peer education].

Sean: My summer at NSPJ was highly educational. The majority of my internship I worked on a multifamily residential project. I helped develop the Revit3D model, which creates the drawings that the contractor uses to build the apartments.

Bethany: My summer was great and very productive. I worked a lot with the Single Family Residential Studio which was really fun. I got to be fully immersed in the process of designing free-standing homes in multiple scales (custom and spec homes). Additionally, I also was taken on multiple site visits so I got to see the construction process in different phases.  My internship was a very well-rounded experience and confirmed my desire to work in single family and multifamily housing.

NSPJ Architecture Internship Program at NSPJ Architects
Touring 44 Washington with Interns and Staff

Anything you learned that you could apply to studio or other classes this Fall?  

Kooper: I learned a lot about construction and details this summer. This knowledge will be essential in my final year of school, as I design more and more realistic buildings.

Taylor: The most valuable learning opportunity I had this summer was the chance to tour multiple NSPJ projects that were all in various phases of completion. These site visits allowed me to better understand how the details that I am drafting are actually constructed.  Although these projects were different in size and type, I appreciated that I was able to see how NSPJ’s focus on appropriate scale and proportion is applied to projects. This would range from a single-family home to a 100+ unit apartment building.

Sean: I learned a great amount during my three months in the office. The construction side of architecture is not emphasized a lot in coursework. At the end of the day, architects, engineers and contractors are in the same business, to build buildings. Job site visits and mentoring from multiple architects and designers helped me start to grasp the logistical ballet that is developing a building that can be built in a timely manner.

Bethany: I learned how to use Lumion [a 3D rendering program] and taking that back to studio will be very helpful since graphic representation is something that is super important. I would say in general my graphic skills have improved greatly this summer. This will prove to be useful through studio and the rest of my career.

NSPJ Architecture Internship Program at NSPJ Architects
Enjoying Lunch After the Site Tour

What did you enjoy about the Kansas City-area this summer?

Kooper: If you don’t mind the heat, KC is a wonderful place to spend the summer. With the streetcar in downtown, you can easily explore from the Crossroads to the River Market. And, if you make it to Crossroads before 6, you can enjoy half price tapas and sangria at La Bodega!

Taylor: My favorite summer event is the KC Tap Tour. It is a great way to explore different breweries around the metro that you otherwise wouldn’t normally go to. Also, it’s such a fantastic way to support small and upcoming businesses.

Sean: The nearby Village Shops in Prairie Village is an area that stands out to me when I think about my time in Kansas City this summer. During my first day at NSPJ, I happened to stumble upon it because I was looking for a place to buy a cup of coffee before work. It was a breath of fresh air to find a nearby pedestrian-friendly space. Whenever I forgot to bring lunch to work or the weather was particularly nice out, I would go to the Village and spend the hour outside.

Bethany: It’s hard to choose there are so many things I loved about Kansas City. I would say my favorite event was First Fridays, it was a fun thing to do to kick off each month. Also, you get access to art galleries that you may not have access to on a regular basis. The River Market was also really awesome and is definitely a close second.

NSPJ Architecture Internship Program at NSPJ Architects
Touring 44 Washington

Learning About Construction

With a staff of fifty employees, working on many projects in different stages of the design process, the interns were each given unique summer experiences. Yet when asked they unanimously identified “Learning about construction/ how things are put together” as something they enjoyed about their summer experience at NSPJ! The interns each toured three job sites with their project managers.  The Summer internship program was deemed a success for both the students and NSPJ. The firm looks forward to visiting colleges to meet potential interns for summer 2020!

If you’re interested in being one of our 2020 interns please contact Tiffany Cross at

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