Tips for Securing an Architecture Internship

Let’s talk about applying to your first internship. This can be a challenging endeavor for a variety of reasons but like any new experience, there is always an upside. Whether it is the summer before your freshman year or your junior year of college, internships are one of the best ways to gain firsthand experience in your area of interest. Often the people we meet early in our careers are a valuable resource for years to come. Here are a few tips as you put together your summer and fall plans.

Let your personality shine through your resume. 

Play with the layout and design of the document. A memorable resume is a great first impression. Don’t be afraid to play with nontraditional elements. Include an “Interests” section if you have unique hobbies.


ACSA’s research shows firm principals hire people who are passionate about their work. Be prepared to share why you are passionate about architecture and design.

Follow your favorite companies on social media.

Companies realize that social media is often the first location for brand interaction. Many companies share their hiring goals on social media for that exact reason. You can learn about the HR department, hear from current employees about their experiences at the firm, get to know the type of projects the firm takes on, and decide if that is the right environment for you.

Google the person who will be interviewing you.

Take a little time and research a few people at the firm. You can start with the people who will be interviewing you or the partners at the firm.

Job-Person Fit

Be ready to ask hard questions. What is their stance on racial and gender inequity? How do they ensure employees get paid equitably? Interviews are just as much for you as they are for them.


Always run spellcheck however if you can send it to a family member or friend, a second set of eyes is always best practice. Architecture is a detail-oriented profession so don’t forget to focus on the details.

Send only 2-3 of your best work examples.

Respect the hiring manager’s time by selecting only the work you are most proud of that showcases a variety of your skills and strengths. Less is more. Files that are too large may be blocked from their server.

Send a thank-you email the following day.

After interviewing with your first-choice company, leave a lasting impression by reaching out and expressing your gratitude.


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Critical Places Internships

Critical Places seeks graduate/undergraduate students or recent graduates in landscape architecture, urban design or architecture for assistance with several community development projects in rural India.

PERIOD: Internships will begin by May-end of 2018 and will be 10 to 12 weeks in length. Internships can be extended for a longer period of 6 to 12 months. Please state desired length of internship in your application (beginning-end dates).

PREREQUISITES: Applicants must have completed a minimum of 3 years of study in an undergraduate program or 1 year of study in a graduate program in the fields of landscape architecture, urban design or architecture. Interns must bring their own laptops with the following applications: Adobe Suite, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Rhino/SketchUp and GIS. Proficiency in these software applications is expected.

STIPEND: Interns should expect to pay for their return air-fare to India. All local travel arrangements in India will be provided free-of-cost. A stipend to cover basic out-of-pocket expenses in India will be provided.

MEALS & HOUSING: All team members will be provided 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) free-of-cost during the project work. Accommodations (double occupancy) will be provided free-of-cost for all the interns.

REQUIREMENTS: Please send a letter of interest, resume, portfolio of works not exceeding 10 pages and contact of 3 references to

DEADLINE: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and no later than April 15, 2018. Late applicants will be considered if there are positions available.

WORK: Interns will participate in field and studio-based work such as site study, community engagement activities, surveys, project design and development, research, diagramming and rendering, material research, and design/management of the construction of a small design-build public play-space.

KEY CONTACT: For questions, contact Alpa Nawre:

Alpa Nawre is Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at University of Florida, and one of the Founders of Critical Places. Alpa holds a Masters in Urban Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design, a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelors degree in Architecture from NIT, Raipur, India. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) and on the Alumni Advisory Council of Harvard GSD. Alpa is a licensed landscape architect in Kansas, a licensed architect in India, and a LEED AP.

ABOUT: Critical Places is a group of landscape architects, urbanists, architects, and engineers dedicated to working with under-served communities in India to design and develop places critical to human well-being. The positive impact and transformation in people and communities is at the heart of all our efforts. We work closely with all stakeholders to address critical rural issues such as water scarcity and waste-management through design strategies, engaging in physical transformation through small projects, and in the process creating a stronger, more cohesive and forward-looking community. Designs are collectively developed with stakeholders and each project includes a participatory design-build component.

Please see for more information.