Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” — the essence of Array’s Intern Development Program (IDP). In my 20+ years as an Architect and IDP administrator with Array, I’ve seen an incredible transformation with how we’ve implemented the IDP program over the years, embracing the ambition and enthusiasm of recent grads. We also recognize and support the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) requirements faced by these same eager minds and thus provide a comprehensive program consisting of both an exposure to a wide variety of projects, as well as seasoned mentors willing to share real-world experiences and knowledge.
Graduates of an architecture school are required to embark on an arduous, yet enlightening, journey of teachings designed to expose them to all facets of the architecture industry. This 5,600-hour rite of passage consists of four experience categories; pre-design, design, project management and practice management. Seventeen additional experience areas, ranging from site, building analysis and schematic design to bidding, contract negotiation and leadership/service are taught. Array’s IDP supervisors work in concert with the participant’s direct supervisors to ensure that required hours are correctly recorded and that more attention and lessons are provided to individual participants in areas where they may need more experience. The Intern Development Program can be confusing and intimidating, yet the purpose of the program helps interns gain well-rounded exposure to all aspects of architecture. With the right IDP supervisor and mentor, the program can be an insightful and invaluable experience.
Having a robust IDP program is important to Array. “Our young staff are the future of the firm,” according to George Shmidheiser, Principal and COO, “ and investing our time as mentors, and encouraging their success on their registration exams is a small part of keeping staff engaged and demonstrating the importance of our career paths.”