August 21, 2023 - And just like that, a new school year is upon us which means our summer interns have wrapped up their year-end presentations and are heading back to their respective universities. This year we welcomed three college students to our studio:

Sarah Cope, an undergrad student pursuing her Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Nebraska,

Kevin Corrigan, a grad student completing his Master of Landscape Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis,

and Nick Rankin, an undergrad student completing his Construction Management degree at Illinois State University.

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These three jumped right in with our design and siteworks studios. A big thank you to Sarah, Kevin, and Nick for their eagerness to learn and add value to our team and projects. It's always refreshing to experience our work through a fresh set of eyes! In looking back over their time at Hoerr Schaudt this summer, we asked each of them to share some thoughts—here's what they had to say:

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Walkthrough at the Meadow at the Old Chicago Post Office

How was your experience at Hoerr Schaudt this summer?

Sarah: My experience was very rewarding and set me up for success going into my final year of school and post-grad life. From plant layouts and other construction admin projects, to building physical models and working on client presentations, I've experienced so much diversity in the work and have seen many sides of landscape architecture that you don't experience in school.

Kevin: You'll get solid exposure to all the different aspects of the company. Each week is spent with different folks in different studios, so each week feels relatively fresh. What makes Hoerr Schaudt's intern program strong is there's a plan for you; it's well-structured and focused on getting you involved as much as possible.

Nick: It was an incredibly valuable learning experience and a great opportunity to learn more about the landscape architecture field. I improved my skills in Bluebeam and Excel and increased my understanding of construction documents, architectural drawings, and construction administration.

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Plant layout

Baker Plant Layout

Plant layout

What was your favorite part about Hoerr Schaudt’s summer internship?

Sarah: Connecting with coworkers and seeing the many different pathways you can take within landscape architecture. I've was surrounded by designers of large- and small-scale sites, members of the siteworks team, planting designers, and more. It's been great to see people's passions shine and how they all connect to succeed.

Kevin: What was most impressive was how nice and generally happy everyone was. I worked with eight different groups over my nine weeks, and I enjoyed working with every one of them. Every person was patient and happy to answer questions and made sure I felt comfortable. It's one small thing that makes a big difference.

Nick: The various site visits. I had the privilege of being able to travel to ten different project sites ranging from small-scale residential to large-scale commercial projects. It was incredible to visualize the architectural drawings online and then see tangible progress on site.

What are you most proud of from your time here?

Sarah: I am proud to have interned at a company that not only values good design, but also understands the value of horticulture and the importance of plant selection and environmental systems.

Kevin: Rigorous attention to detail. Whether it's spec-ing the curvature of a piece of ironwork and adjusting its thickness or angle, making sure that each liriope is spaced 9" from the edge of the bed line, or reworking a detail in Photoshop or CAD for the umpteenth time, I was continuously cognizant of the level of rigor applied to small details.

Nick: Hoerr Schaudt is attentive to detail, upholds a high level of quality, is rapidly growing, values the art of landscape design, and has the most knowledgeable hard-working individuals I have ever met.

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Graceland Cemetery construction administration

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Visiting the Old Chicago Post Office's rooftop pollinators

Why would you recommend someone intern at Hoerr Schaudt?

Sarah: I would recommend an internship at Hoerr Schaudt because the diversity of work allows you to see a lot. Rather than focusing on just design or just fieldwork, the mix provides more exposure to the "real world" and keeps each day interesting as you're always learning something new.

Kevin: I'd recommend an internship at Hoerr Schaudt to those who are curious about the different roles and niches available in a landscape architecture firm. MLA and landscape bachelor's programs can only go so far in scope—your studio project probably isn't going to get built. So I think many students lack a tactile understanding of building—and designing!—in the field, on a construction site. I sure did. The 2-dimensional paper plan materializing into 150 plants ready to get into the soil is an enjoyable aspect of the design process to be a part of!

Nick: You will learn and experience A LOT about every aspect of landscape architecture and construction administration. The amount of new material, projects, software, architectural drawings, terminology, site visits, tasks, and memories that I experienced improved my understanding of the field. Also, [for next summer] you will be one of the first interns in the brand-new Chicago office!

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Tree installations

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Foam core modeling

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Flying the drone

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