Intern Corner: Small Victories Turn Into Big Lessons

By: Kaitlin Hogan

The summer internship program at STG Design has exceeded all of my expectations and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with the people at this company. Coming into the interior design industry with no professional experience was scary at first but once I got the hang of the “nine-to-five” work day, I realized that this is what my teachers have been preparing me for. All of the information that I learned in my materials, codes and studio classes came back to me as certain jobs popped up. Having the background in these topics as well as the basics of Revit helped me immensely.

One of the biggest adjustments was understanding the true constraints of budget and lead time. In school, there is not a huge focus on costs or schedule; we are able to choose whatever we want and keep a budget in the back of our mind but it is nothing like having a hard-set budget. For a project I worked on at STG, I had to find light fixtures of a certain price point that needed to have a two-week lead time. If I were in school, I would have used the first fixture that I found; with these real projects, I had to first find a fixture that I liked then compare it to the project budget. My coworkers gave me helpful tips for websites to search and reps to contact to make the search more effective. Once I found a fixture that I liked and was in the price point, I had to contact the sales rep to see how long it would take to get the fixture. If it would take more than two weeks, I had to start the process all over again. The reality of this was at times frustrating, but once I found the perfect fixture that fit all of the criteria, it was a small victory.

It has truly been a pleasure working at STG Design this summer and I am happy to say that I will continue to work part-time throughout the fall semester. I have learned so much from this experience and will apply the skills I have learned to my remaining time at Texas State University. 

Kaitlin Hogan was a summer intern in STG's Austin office. She will continue working here part-time as she finishes up her schooling at Texas State University, where she is on track to graduate in December with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. We are excited to see where her career takes her after graduation!

Intern Corner: It's All in the Details

By: Megan Zhang

Working at STG Design this summer was such a rewarding experience. I have learned more about this profession and what being an architect is all about in the past three months than in four years of college. I have worked on a variety of things here, including plan and detail drawing and 3-D modeling. The latter helped me have a better understanding of building structure and design proficiency and how to work in Revit more efficiently. I was also able to go on a punch walk site visit for one of our projects in College Station to help me in learning on-site and training my eyes to see mistakes.

Since this was my first time interning, I learned a great deal about being a professional, as well as building better professional relationships. It is so different being in school for architecture than working in the real world – attention to detail is everything! One little mess up can cost someone thousands of dollars, which is one thing I never thought about nearly enough when I was in school. I loved the office environment and everyone who works here. The staff has been so helpful answering all my questions and helping me learn more about this field.

I thoroughly enjoyed working here and can say that STG Design is definitely one of the best places to work!


MZ prof pic.png

Megan Zhang was a summer intern in STG’s Houston office. She is returning to Texas A&M University in the fall to achieve her Master of Architecture. We wish her all the best in school and beyond!

Intern Corner: Learning How to Learn from Your Peers

By: Omar Salim

Within the last seven months, I have had one of the most valuable internship experiences to date. Considering most internships last a duration of 2-3 months, I was very fortunate to pursue my residency program at STG Design for an extended amount of time, which not only enhanced my internship experience, but also offered the opportunity to invest myself in a plethora of projects and the people behind them, which most interns wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do.

If there is one word to I can use to describe STG, it’s “people.” After many internships, one obstacle that I’ve noticed many interns face is accommodating so many different personalities within the office space, which often times affects whether an internship feels like a success or a failure. Fortunately, STG fosters an environment where the people you work with and their skill set allow employees to grow so quickly within the realm of architecture.

In this blog, I’m sure I could have talked about many things, including that one time I misdrew the property line by 15’ on a site plan, or the time that I walked up 23 flights of stairs at Seaholm to do a punch walk because I couldn’t find the elevator; but I think what has offered me the most value over the past seven months at STG has to be the people, and their willingness to share their craft and support me as I thrive towards becoming an Architect.

If I could give any advice to any future Interns at STG, or elsewhere, I would say to make sure you invest yourself into the people around you, because that is the where the true value of working in an office is. Google, YouTube, and Lynda will always be great resources to learning Architecture tools, but the wisdom of real world Architecture can only come from the practitioners, so invest in them just as much as you invest yourself into the practice.

 “Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design.” – Stephen Gardiner

Omar Salim’s last year of school at the University of Texas at Austin begins this fall. He has said that his dream job is either an NBA player or President of STG Design. We have benefited greatly from his time at STG and have our fingers crossed for the latter!

Intern Corner: Intern Season Comes to an End

By: Theresa Saad

Hello everyone! As I wrap up my last week here at STG, I’m filled with overwhelming gratitude for everything that I have learned here and the people that I’ve met. Coming back home to Austin in late May, I had worked at a few other internships, and the longer I worked here at STG, the more I realized the kind of work and culture I’d like to strive for going forward.

 During my internship at STG, I’ve worked on every part of different projects, from construction administration and warehouses to schematic design and student housing, to construction documents for probably some of the largest projects I’ll ever work on, (shout out to Waterfront – I’ll get back to work in a minute!). I learned not only about STG’s company culture, standards and expectations of a larger firm, and tips and tricks for Revit and Sketchup; I learned more about myself than I could’ve anticipated. This is the first summer where I truly felt like I could make a difference in the grander scheme of the design and the completion of a project – that feeling is irreplaceable, and helped me realize that moving forward, I prefer to be part of a larger team working toward a shared goal, rather than the only architect on a project.

 I’ve been continually inspired by those around me, and I hope that that feeling never goes away. Thank you all again for helping me understand that the late nights in studio and the pre-review freak outs never really end, but are always totally worth it, and for giving me something to stay hopeful for moving into my fifth and final year at Notre Dame. I can’t wait to come back and visit next May and see what y’all have continued to accomplish!


Theresa Saad was one of three summer interns in STG’s Austin office. She will start her last year as an architect student at Notre Dame in the fall. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors!