Kiana Nguyen, a recent Boston Latin Academy graduate, joined Finegold Alexander this summer for another six-week internship, having also interned with the firm last summer. The summer internship program is through the Boston Private Industry Council, a program that Mayor Wu is actively involved in making a success. Kiana took time to reflect on her summer at Finegold Alexander before she prepares for her first year at Northeastern University to study architecture.
Q: What originally drew you to architecture?
Growing up, I would see the work that my uncle would do. He had a model in his room and often worked at home on the computer. He would show me all the houses he remodeled too. I remember being fascinated by the before and after results. It was always something that caught my eye. You’re often asked as a kid, “what would you like to be when you grow up.” I was one of those kids that wanted to be a doctor, but I realized that I was just saying that to say it. I was an art and math kid growing up, so after looking around at different professions, I was reeled into architecture. My grandpa was my biggest support too! He wanted me to be like my uncle.
Q: How did this internship affect your perception of the architecture industry as a whole?
This internship has taught me many things about the architecture industry. There is nothing better than seeing and experiencing the work head-on. I wasn’t completely sure what this industry entailed, but I’ve come to appreciate and enjoy it much more than before. I love the details, the process, seeing the progression of projects, and much more!
Q: What are three key things you learned during your time at Finegold Alexander?
This internship has taught me the importance of time management, teamwork, and generally to enjoy your work. I love how you work independently, but at the same time, you’re a part of a team. You would never see an architect working on a project alone. Seeing these teams work has made me think about if I would truly enjoy this career path. I’ve seen adults in my life dread going to work because they hate what they do. I want to make sure that this is what’s right for me. Seeing how everyone is passionate about what they do has made me realize that I genuinely enjoy what I’m dong, and that I’m heading in the right direction.
Q: What was your favorite memory you have from your internship?
My favorite memories from this internship have been model making and the Wellesley College site visit. I enjoy doing things hands-on, so getting away from the computer brings me joy. I’ve always enjoyed constructing and building things, so model-making has been my favorite part of it all. As for the site visit, it’s not every day that you get to go to a construction site. Seeing the progress of a site and then revisiting it a year later is mind-blowing because so much can happen within that time.
Q: Did you work on any special projects during your internship? If so, can you tell me more about them?
This summer I worked on remodeling a room in the office. The project was to create a space that could be used for model making. I looked at many photos for inspiration and ideas; I even visited other firms to see what their model rooms were like. The final product will result in a presentation that will represent all my ideas and the work I created.
Q: Who was your biggest role model at the firm?
I had two role models throughout my time at the firm. I appreciate everything that Megan Carriere and Emmett Neidhart did for me. Megan always had something for me to do and would go out of her way to make sure that my time here would be the best experience I could possibly have. She guided me and always answered the questions I had. She is one of the most enthusiastic people I know, and it motivates me to continue my journey in this industry. As for Emmett, he is always there to answer my questions as well. I am starting college soon at the college he recently graduated from.
Q: If you could describe Finegold Alexander in three words, what would they be?
Welcoming, efficient, and the-best-firm-I’ve-ever-been-at!
Thank you, Kiana, for all of your hard work and dedication, and best of luck to you in your next steps!