Dear Intern, …

When I applied for my first internship, I do remember going out of my way to make an impression at the company I had applied to. I wrote a letter of intent, explaining why this company and how I was seeing myself possibly contributing. (And of course I followed the basics: portfolio as a pdf less than 5mb, with best works only.)

Considering the sheer amount of architectural interns that rush out into the world of ‘professional’ experience, I would assume that a single look at the competition for an internship would make every single one of them go the extra mile, even two… But instead reality is full of surprises and every six month the inbox gets flooded with mails addressed to the general public of architects with “Dear Sir/Dear Madam” and the expectation that phrases like “your esteemed firm” would actually go any distance. More over the lack of grammatical or narrative skills, presentation talent nor respect makes me want to just keep the team we are in the office and not take any trainees.

I do not appreciate to be called ‘Dude’ over chat by an prospective intern. Anyway why the heck are your applying via chat. I also do not really want to download all the 26 individual pages you have attached to your mail.

Until last year I took the time and replied to the worst applications and tried to explain them, what all went wrong in their approach, but I quickly gave up, as the numbers of bad applications increased dramatically.

So what is it that I would like to see? Well it would be a good start, if your mail is written to me only, because that would show some form of dedication towards your planned work with us. And when I say to me only, I mean no CC, no BCC, no mass-mail, where you copy and paste rather bluntly every architects mail-id you can get your hands on, foremost no “Dear Sir/Dear Madam”. If you want to work with us, you should have taken the time to go through our website and then figured out, if the person your are writing to is male or female (hint: the mail-id can also be a reasonably good indicator for the gender). And then once you’ve done that, don’t write me an anonymous application without any character. Please let me know who you are, what your interests are, what is your background. Don’t write what you think I would like to hear. (There is no point in even attempting that.) Well, and if I am honest, I don’t even care what school your from, what semester your in or how many trophies you’ve won in college. Of course there are basic skills you should have, like software, but none of them can’t be learned with a bit of serious commitment. Anyway the actual job of an architect includes such a vast spectrum of jobs, that if you are keen, there is something for you.  All that matters for a great experience for you and us during your internship is, if we get along. Do we aspire for similar things, does the work we do interest you, why do want to be an architect? These are the information that will help you to stand out and us to determine if we are compatible or not. One last thing, and I mentioned it in the beginning, your portfolio should be representing your skill set. It is not a record of what you have done, but the showcase of your best work. If you fill your portfolio with 200 plans, pictures and sketches, no-one will understand what you are trying to show. And please consider if you really want to show your sketching talent, your photography skills or your your other extra curricular activity that just tries way to hard to sell you as a creative person.

Keep it simple. Show your best work, even if it is little. Remember you are a student and no-one expects a full portfolio yet. And just show that you are actually interested…

If you still want to read more about this topic, here’s another interesting article:

Dear Intern, …

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Dear Intern, …

When I applied for my first internship, I do remember going out of my way to make an impression at the company I had applied to. I wrote a letter of intent, explaining why this company and how I was seeing myself possibly contributing. (And of course I followed the basics: portfolio as a pdf less than 5mb, with best works only.)

Considering the sheer amount of architectural interns that rush out into the world of ‘professional’ experience, I would assume that a single look at the competition for an internship would make every single one of them go the extra mile, even two… But instead reality is full of surprises and every six month the inbox gets flooded with mails addressed to the general public of architects with “Dear Sir/Dear Madam” and the expectation that phrases like “your esteemed firm” would actually go any distance. More over the lack of grammatical or narrative skills, presentation talent nor respect makes me want to just keep the team we are in the office and not take any trainees.

I do not appreciate to be called ‘Dude’ over chat by an prospective intern. Anyway why the heck are your applying via chat. I also do not really want to download all the 26 individual pages you have attached to your mail.

Until last year I took the time and replied to the worst applications and tried to explain them, what all went wrong in their approach, but I quickly gave up, as the numbers of bad applications increased dramatically.

So what is it that I would like to see? Well it would be a good start, if your mail is written to me only, because that would show some form of dedication towards your planned work with us. And when I say to me only, I mean no CC, no BCC, no mass-mail, where you copy and paste rather bluntly every architects mail-id you can get your hands on, foremost no “Dear Sir/Dear Madam”. If you want to work with us, you should have taken the time to go through our website and then figured out, if the person your are writing to is male or female (hint: the mail-id can also be a reasonably good indicator for the gender). And then once you’ve done that, don’t write me an anonymous application without any character. Please let me know who you are, what your interests are, what is your background. Don’t write what you think I would like to hear. (There is no point in even attempting that.) Well, and if I am honest, I don’t even care what school your from, what semester your in or how many trophies you’ve won in college. Of course there are basic skills you should have, like software, but none of them can’t be learned with a bit of serious commitment. Anyway the actual job of an architect includes such a vast spectrum of jobs, that if you are keen, there is something for you.  All that matters for a great experience for you and us during your internship is, if we get along. Do we aspire for similar things, does the work we do interest you, why do want to be an architect? These are the information that will help you to stand out and us to determine if we are compatible or not. One last thing, and I mentioned it in the beginning, your portfolio should be representing your skill set. It is not a record of what you have done, but the showcase of your best work. If you fill your portfolio with 200 plans, pictures and sketches, no-one will understand what you are trying to show. And please consider if you really want to show your sketching talent, your photography skills or your your other extra curricular activity that just tries way to hard to sell you as a creative person.

Keep it simple. Show your best work, even if it is little. Remember you are a student and no-one expects a full portfolio yet. And just show that you are actually interested…

If you still want to read more about this topic, here’s another interesting article:

Dear Intern, …

A different angle

Sometimes there are situations in my life, that frustrate me to the core. Like the one just recently, when I was about to rush for lunch, as usual already 5 minutes late for my lunch meeting, and that was, because I can’t stop working once I am in a good flow, not because I am generally late. The bike started at about the fifteenth kick, when I realised that the tyre was punctured. So I took a deep breath, closed my eyes for a few seconds and remained calm. I knew I have a cycle standing over there, so there wasn’t really any problem. So with a bit more frenzy I unlocked the bike; and surely it wasn’t very smooth. We all know how easy it is to fit the key in when you are in a rush, like when you reach home, and all that’s between you and the more than urgent relief of the bathroom is the freaking door lock. Funnily I was thinking about it while trying to unlock the thing.  So I brushed off the dust from the seat just to remember that I had forgotten that last week’s puncture in the cycle was still waiting to get repaired.

Path in Auroville

So whatever… With a large portion of self-doubt I started to walk. Which was great, because my thoughts dangerously close to spinning around the topic of my failure, I quickly got distracted by nature. I started to wonder, why I actually do not walk more often. It gave me a complete new angle of the route that I have browsed by so many times before, hardly paying any attention to more than the traffic. And yes I do enjoy the comfort of a bike, reaching places quickly without the sweaty shirt sticking to my back, but the quality of that walk was something that reminded me of the trekking of my childhood.

Nature has never failed to amaze me. It goes to the extent of moments where there is a huge spider creeping in and about the house at night and you would see me staring at it with a respectful distance, with one hand reaching for the camera, trying to get as close as my inner revulsion would allow me.

Solifugae
Camel Spider
Indian Red Scorpion
Indian Red Scorpion

But this time it was slightly different. This time I felt bad about myself. 

And being a hypocrite sometimes, I felt even worse about all the people brushing by with a huge cloud of dust trailing behind them. Because all the leaves of these little bushes, the newly grown shrubs and of course the all other plants on the road side were covered in red dust, which seemed to suffocate them. Looking at these leaves hanging weakly and knowing that the last rain has been more than a month ago, I felt bad that we, I, make it even more challenging for these plants by blowing dust into their “thirsty faces”.

Red Greenery

Next time I do take the bike, and frankly I wont stop using it, I will drive at a speed that wont produce a cloud of dust behind me… I’ll try, promise!

Hello

Welcome to mgp, Architecture and Design.

This blog is created to feature current and past architectural works.

Currently he closely collaborates with Duststudio (formerly BuildAur) in the International City of Auroville in South India and diverse artists across all fields from Germany and India.