|Susan Pierce (second from left) with her current and former interns (from left) Ramona Saldamando, Jonathan Hodge and Laurie Torres|
For the past three years, Commonwealth Home Remodelers in Vienna, Va., has offered internships to architects in training who are working toward their license through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards' Internship Development Program.
Jonathan Hodge, Commonwealth's first intern, has been with the company just more than three years. He's now the director of project development and also helps train new interns. His hands-on intern work served as the perfect segue for his interest in design/build work.
"I've gotten exposure to construction, and a huge part of design/build is understanding cost, what it really takes to build something. So many architects don't understand that process," says Hodge.
Susan Pierce, AIA, vice president of Commonwealth, finds that employing interns increases her productivity and efficiency. Because all the interns are college graduates or have experience, Pierce is confident in their skill, and she notes an ambition and an understanding of technology that have become assets to the company. And with the increasing number of design/build businesses, Pierce thinks the need for licensed architects will, and should, increase the number of available internships.