University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Interior Design 420

Interior Design Internship

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    Week One at Boulder Associates Architects

    By gfrank1
    Jun 6, '15 11:22 PM EST

    June 1 - Geneva Frank

    I started my internship at Boulder Associates Architects today. I entered the office at around 8:00 am and was greeted by Erika, the Human Resources Coordinator that had arranged my interview and whom I had been in contact with while figuring out the logistics of the internship. With her was Juren Dai, a recent full-time architect hire that would be going through the same training as I would be. James Lenhart gave us a tour of the office and introduced us to almost everyone in the office. After the tour, the history of Boulder Associates was given as well as an introduction to their own version of Facebook for the office, Biscuitnet. It is a way for the different offices to communicate and share ideas. After filling out some paperwork and basic office training, I went to lunch with four of the interior designers. It was great because I was able to meet some of the designers I had not met before and I also got the chance to get to know the ones that interviewed me better. The second day of my internship involved going through Revit training and watching tutorials, as well as sitting in on a lunch-n-learn presentation with a tile rep from Pantheon. She came to show new samples that can be used in healthcare spaces. On Wednesday, I went through a construction document set with Gina in order to learn how the architecture documents differ from the interior ones, and how Boulder Associates has their own set up. Annie, an interior designer, showed me how they organize their material’s library and how they are moving items around to be more proficient. I also helped her put some materials away.  Boulder Associates has a WWP, which is a Weekly Work Plan. It is a way for the staff to plan out what needs to be done. I had orientation for WWP and the various ways that it can be completed. On Thursday, I was lucky enough to help out on a photo shoot for a design that Boulder Associates recently completed. The Boulder Community Hospital is a very important design for the firm because it is a large hospital and it is also a part of their local community. I was able to help stage the rooms and learn about the differences between various hospital rooms and areas, as well as the precautions that need to be taken depending on the program. On Friday, I mainly worked on the Revit training files.


    Week’s Focus: Organizational Structure of the Company


    On my first day I was lucky enough to learn about the history of the company. Boulder Associates was started in 1983 by Bob Owens. He had previously worked at a firm in New Orleans. He started Boulder Associates with two other men. Owens wanted to specialize in healthcare. He wished that Boulder Associates would be a legacy firm; he built it for the long term. He wanted the growth of the firm to be organic and not be dictated by one main leader. Owens wanted to hire the right people to work in this field. The firm’s work usually comes from repeat clients. They hire for additional work. Boulder Associates also has offices in California (Sacramento, San Francisco, Orange County), as well as one in Dallas, Texas. The first office that Owens started had 15 people and now there are a total of 119 people working for Boulder Associates.  Owens created a transparent firm. There are shareholders in the firm. The senior associates and principals are offered stock (joint-stock company). There is a board of directors and an executive committee for the firm that helps make decisions and lead the company. Boulder Associates design for the patients, staff, and the services that need to get to the building.  There are architects, interior designers, graphic designers, a marketing team, and a human resources team. (Chart included as image.)


    Getting to know someone new:


    I decided to speak with Erika, in Human Resources (PHR Certificate) this week for the “Getting to Know Someone New.” She was my first contact within the Boulder Associates firm and is one of the sweetest and most helpful people you could ever meet. She is very kind and says I can always come to her with any questions. Erika, working in Human Resources responds to people constantly as well as looks at resumes and portfolios for potential hires. She is a master gardener and an organic perennial gardener. (she did not want her picture taken but said I could post a picture of flowers because she loves to garden.)

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This will be the community Blog for IDS 420 Summer 2016. Students will post their responses to weekly Journal Assignments here as well as view posts/comments from other participants.

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