Alexander Diaz’s Reflection
The internship was a path between what we have learned so far about architecture here at WHSAD and the path ahead of us was with Gensler. Being more professional and attempting to meet deadlines was important throughout the internship.
As the internship comes to a close, I’d like to go over what I’ve learned about myself and my work ethic.
Ever since freshman year, I always believed that these “afterschool” projects would have me working at night, sparing me no sleep and making it difficult to do anything else outside of school. After doing this internship, I can certainly tell you that is not the case. What really matters is your work-life balance; not only do you have to balance your extracurriculars but also manage to do your school work and be on top of your assignments.
As for my work ethic, I’ve learned a lot more mundane but useful skills if you can call them that. As for these mundane skills, I’ve learned to successfully send an email whenever I needed to communicate with our group’s mentor and also schedule and time meetings for a weekly check-in. My presentation skills have grown sharper, and I now know how to write a presentation outline. Although these all sound like basic tasks, I’d like to argue that these tasks are like the base of a process that makes it more grounded and allows it to flow more easily.
I’ve realized my faults in using programs such as AutoCad and Rhino, and there’s still a learning curve ahead of me. As for my senior year of architecture, there will be a more “advanced” use of AutoCad when I prepare for the AutoCad exam and use the program for projects in Mr. Codio’s class.
So that’s definitely something to look forward to!
As part of the internship, my group was assigned a mentor for the project. Her name is Marrisa Cutry, and she gave us guidance and ideas through simple conversation.
In the beginning months of the internship, we weren’t able to secure weekly meetings as the group and her schedule wouldn’t connect or the lack of time on both ends. After January, that all changed. We were able to meet once a week, and she’s even been coming to WHSAD to help us use certain programs. She was a great help to both of my friends and collaborators, Abe and Henry!
I don’t know where we would be right now without professional guidance. All three of us would have probably been freaking out since presentation day is close.
This is one of the first projects I’ve worked on internally at WHSAD, and I’m proud to say that my group has been doing well.
We hope to show a presentation that will blow both the stakeholders’ and our mentor’s expectations.
Hopefully, there will be more projects so that my work ethic and my personality can grow as I eventually graduate from high school.
Mariah Nieves’ Reflection
Introduction / Background Information ~
Hello, my name is Mariah Nieves, and I will be sharing my experience about this year’s Work, Learn, Grow program, which started in December of 2022 and ended in March of 2023. Throughout these months my team and I were assigned a specific location project to work on. The project we were assigned to was the DOMH (Department of Mental Health and Hygiene) building. This building was a bit of a struggle for us as we had no background information, and it was abandoned for some time already. With this little information, we took it upon us to decide how this building could be in use again.
As part of the program, we also got the chance to partner up with mentors for guidance and moral support throughout our project journey. Our mentors were Geoffrey Diamond & Selwyn Bachus ll.
They were very supportive of our ideas and feelings that made it way easier to get work done. With all of us on the same team, we knew how we were going to transform this nothing into something!
Personal Reflection ~
I feel that this project was a great experience for me. It gave me the feeling of actually going through a design process and figuring out how everything will plan out for the end. Along the way, it was hard and somewhat stressful. Everything put into this project we mostly used our imagination and tried our best to reference how it looked from the exterior of the building. We had no floor plans, so it was up to us to create them. The interior and how we will fit the workspace into each floor was all from our guessing. But even though we had no floor plan, it was nice to know that this was actually our floor plan. We didn’t have to take someone else’s work and work around that. It was strictly all our ideas, making the project even more enjoyable.
Conclusion Thoughts ~
After all the hard work, our presentation at the end paid off. We created a better exterior for the building, using Rhino to create the model. We also used AutoCad and Revit to create floor plans of how each floor will be. This building would now be benefiting the school nearby, and each of their seven CTE courses.
Jordan Louis’ Reflection
This native encampment project is the first ever site plan project I’d ever worked on. At first I was kind of confused about what I was doing, why I was doing this, how am I going to work on this project and if I should even ask any questions. But now I know what to do, know how to help my team, and know how to reach out to the client if I or any of my teammates have any questions, comments, or concerns about the project or relating to the project.
I learned a lot of things working on this project, such as team work, splitting up the project into different sections so it is easier to digest, and remaining open to new ideas. However, the number one thing I learned about this project is don’t be shy to talk, ask questions, share your ideas, or speak your concerns because the whole point of this project is to grow more comfortable talking to your team and client. Also, no one is going to judge you on your idea, questions, comments, or concerns about the project, so get comfortable talking to your team and client.
When I started this project, I thought my team and I were going to get it done in no time because we thought we just had to make a wattle fence and a trail for the disabled. However, when we did a site visit of the Native Encampment in Staten Island, our stakeholder, Mr. Luke Boyd, talked about how he wanted the fence to be the same materials as the wigwam and other materials relating to the encampment. That wasn’t too bad, but this was going to take more time than we had anticipated. At the beginning of December, we had our first meeting with Luke Boyd on a zoom call and at the time one of my team members, Jaiden, had made a design of the wattle fence, which Mr. Boyd loved. With this said, Mr. Boyd said he wanted the fence to be more organic and to seem as if the native tribes were still here. After getting the feedback, we went back to work.
In the middle of December our Gensler mentor, Mr. Chasen Vanlang began working with us. He mostly helped us with ideas about the fence design, such as should it be big or small or if it should be tall or short. He also talked about what else to include in the fence like if it should have a flashy entrance or a regular entrance. From the end of December to the beginning of January we have been doing the same thing with Luke Boyd and Chasen VanLang, going back and forth, giving information, asking questions, generating new comments or suggestions about the project. Then our teacher, Mr. Rodriguez, said you should have Luke Boyd and Chasen VanLang in one meeting instead of meeting them on different days. So we emailed Chasen VanLang and Luke Boyd to meet on this specific date. When that date came, we all met on the Zoom call and agreed on final design of the wattle fence, and Mr. Boyd wanted us to make a 3D model of the whole encampment in Rhino.
After the meeting ended, I began working on the 3D model of the encampment. After a while I realized I didn’t have the measurements for any of the stuff inside of the native encampment, so my team emailed Mr. Boyd to get the measurement for any of the stuff inside the native encampment. Soon enough we got the measurements for the stuff inside the native encampment, so I made all of the things inside the native encampment to scale, sent the model to my teammate so he can put it into Twinmotion and make it look realistic. In another meeting with Chasen VanLang he showed different presentation projects he has done over his career so we could have an idea of how we’re going to make our presentation. He wanted us to explain in our presentation what we did, why we did it, and what the process was like . After we make the Presentation we rehearse it for the presentation on March 26th.
I have learned so much from this project such as teamwork, communication and the importancs of asking questions and voicing concerns so we can make our work better. This project has been such a new experience for my teammates, and because of this experience, I have become less shy, not so ashamed to ask questions or say new ideas, and have improved my public speaking. My team and I help each other if one of us doesn’t know anything about a specific thing. Then we will help them out and if we don’t know it then we will ask our architecture teacher or email Luke Boyd or Chasen VanLang for assistance. Overall, it has been a real learning experience for me. I had so much fun doing this project, and I hope I can do something like this in the future.
Jennifer Segundo Ramirez’s Reflection
WLG is a path between what we have learned so far about architecture here at WHSAD and learning more about architecture for the future. Being very professional and attempting to meet the deadlines were important throughout the internship and the skills we needed the most throughout this internship.
Since freshman year, I have always been part of these projects. At first when I was doing these types of projects I felt like I wasn’t going to understand or have a hard time but the teammates I have had during my project from my freshman year really helped me understand. I was very involved in activities like this because architecture is the path I am going towards and this was one of the ways I knew that could help me achieve this goal.
As for my work ethic, I’ve learned a lot more useful skills. As for these skills, I’ve learned to successfully send an email whenever I needed to communicate with my mentor, and also schedule and time meetings for weekly check-ins. These weekly checks were very important due to the fact that with our mentors we would get a lot of help and feedback. My presentation skills have grown but still aren’t too great. I still get nervous when presenting even though it is my third year presenting a project to stakeholders. With these skills, they help make the project go very smoothly and quick.
I’ve realized my faults in using programs such as AutoCad, Twinmotion, and there’s still a learning curve ahead of me. These programs have been the new programs that I recently learned how to use for my project. As for next year’s senior year of architecture, there will be a more “advanced” use of AutoCad when I prepare for the AutoCad exam and use the program for projects in Mr. Codio’s class. Therefore, I expect to be more prepared in a way since throughout the projects we used AutoCAD.
Brian Juarez’s Reflection
The WLG Internship with Gensler was an amazing experience. I learned more about architecture, being more professional, knowing how to communicate with stakeholders, and improving our problem solving and imagination skills. In the beginning of the internship we had to schedule at time to host a zoom meetings with the mentors and stakeholders throughout the project. The work progress was calm, smooth, introducing each other, getting to know the project and its mission statement on what the stakeholders were looking for.
While working in the WLG program I was able to improve my skills on AutoCad and Twinmotion, but I was also able to learn a new program called Formit Pro. As for my presentation skills, I would say they have slightly improved but still need to be worked on. Many will think that presentation skills aren’t that important or basic, but I think it plays an important role in presenting your work to others who are trying to understand your work or are new to the project, for then it could help them understand or get a thoughts together on what your project is about. As for AutoCAD and Twinmotion my skills on these programs have improved and for Formit Pro, since it’s a new program I learned, it took a while to get the hang of it, but eventually I was able to understand the program and it helped me making a 3D scale of Snug Harbor (our project location) and the surrounding area. I also used Formit Pro to make a model of the booth that was needed in the east gate of Snug Harbor. For Twinmotion I brought it more to life, adding materials to the buildings, the model of the booth guard, adding grass, flowers, and trees onto the model then exporting it as pictures to add onto my presentation.
As part of the internship, I was assigned two mentors for the project. There names are Heidi Schmitt and Jalen Vasquez. They were able to guide me through the project with ideas, helping me out with problems I came across throughout the project. Both Heidi and Jalen were a great help on my project and on the feedback they gave me on my presentation and on what I should add and explain in more detail.