We are still in disbelief that we're nearing the end of August, and our summer internships have come to a close. Congrats and a huge thank you to Bill, Kiona, Ethan, and Monica for jumping right in on day one and contributing to our team and projects.
Between our design and siteworks studios, they helped with a little bit of everything, including perennial layouts, planting annual containers, detailed design studies, working on site plans, concept renderings, sketched perspectives, continued landscape management walk throughs, contractor meetings, budget reviews and cost estimating, and so much more.
We asked each of them to recap their time at Hoerr Schaudt—here’s what they had to say:
How would you describe your experience to students interested in an internship at Hoerr Schaudt?
Bill: The summer goes by fast, but by the end of the internship, you will get exposure to the entire landscape design and implementation process. Through this program, you get to work on schematic design, CAD documents, and details. Hoerr Schaudt is unique because you also get to spend a month working with the fieldworks team. It is special to work with the experts in planting design here, doing plant layouts with them, you get to see what they think about when they consider plant installation. As a member of this team, you will learn about ordering plants from nurseries, communicating with contractors, and continued landscape maintenance.
Kiona: Its hard but rewarding work. As a Hoerr Schaudt intern, you are trusted with the responsibility of taking on real projects and collaborating with real clients. That initially comes with nerves, but the team does an amazing job prepping and collaborating with you. This experience is valuable because school does not always make the real-life connections that come with practicing landscape architecture, and this internship helps create those connections to lessons and skills previously taught.
I would also describe my experience as diverse. There is interaction with a variety of projects, people, and tasks. There is something unique about the gradient from private to commercial work and small to large scale projects that Hoerr Schaudt introduces you to as an intern.
Ethan: My internship was a huge transition from my undergraduate studies. Everyone in the office is there for you and will contribute to your comfort and enjoyment during your time.
Monica: With a month in a design studio and a month shifting between different fieldworks studios, I gained a unique perspective into the reality of landscape architecture. Seeing projects with real constraints, budgets, and deadlines provides great context into design and installation.
What was your favorite part about Hoerr Schaudt’s summer internship?
Bill: Getting to work on the Wacom tablet out in the lounge allowed me to create a nice site plan for one of our residential projects. It also gave me the opportunity to talk to a lot of people in the office when they came into the lounge for coffee, snacks, or lunch.
Kiona: Before anything else, my favorite part has been the people. Hoerr Schaudt is full of amazing individuals that go above and beyond to make you feel a part of the team. I also think that the most rewarding part of the internship for me was working on a project from conceptual design sketches to site visits with the contractor to see how things are built. Working with the design team in Kansas City gave me a new perspective on how to design and render that I can take with me back to school and beyond. People taking the time to mentor and guide me through the process is an experience that is not always offered but appreciated, and Hoerr Schaudt provides so much mentorship.
Ethan: The engagement with so many employees. Everybody has such a different, unique background. It was incredibly beneficial meeting people throughout my time in the studio.
Monica: My favorite part was connecting with team members within the various studios through collaborating on projects. It was invaluable to learn about their specialties and experience within the industry.
What are you most proud of from your time here?
Bill: I am proud of the amazing projects I have had the opportunity to work on here, and it really is an honor to be deemed worthy enough to be a part of this team.
Kiona: I am proud to say that I interned at a company that values landscape architecture through all phases of a project and treats every aspect of design with the detail and care it deserves. Not everywhere you work will care about the fine detail of planting design or installation, or the construction administrative side of things. Hoerr Schaudt takes pride in making sure that no details are forgotten. I am also proud to say that I got to intern at a firm that values its people and my experience.
Ethan: I am proud to have interned in such a highly sought-after firm. My involvement in the vast scope of projects made the internship unforgettable. Plus, you get to work alongside so many passionate professional landscape architects.
Monica: Hoerr Schaudt produces polished and functional landscapes. The firm is involved with projects from the first steps to years past completion to ensure the design vision is brought to reality. The level of detail and commitment to design fruition is unparalleled.
Why would you recommend someone intern at Hoerr Schaudt?
Bill: The experience is incredible. Hoerr Schaudt is an extremely well-rounded landscape architecture firm. Also, there is no better place to be than Chicago in the summertime. The city is filled with neighborhood festivals, farmers’ markets, concerts, sporting events, and shows. There is always something to get involved in after work and on the weekends.
Kiona: You experience aspects of landscape architecture and projects that other firms do not offer! Having the opportunity to work on residential and commercial projects is a great experience because the profession within the two sectors can differ significantly. Another aspect is the ability to take a deeper dive into project phases that you do not get experience in school and may not see at other firms. The horticulture, construction administration, and continued landscape management teams give you the perspective into what happens after design.
Ethan: An internship at Hoerr Schaudt provides you with a wide scope of fields in landscape architecture.
Monica: For those looking for an internship, Hoerr Schaudt provides a great opportunity to find your niche in landscape architecture. The internship program offers an array of experiences in the industry, including collaborating with the firm’s various teams: design, horticulture, construction administration, and continued landscape management.