September 7th, 2021
Student Reflections on their Work Term
“Working at mcCallumSather has been a fantastic work and learning experience, one that has truly introduced me to the inner workings of the field of architecture.
I had the opportunity to fulfill my architecture co-op term with mcCallumSather, spending my 17-week placement at the Hamilton firm. I feel like I was able to rapidly develop my skillset and play an active role in the team. I worked on projects that ranged from design to proposal writing. Being introduced to this range has been an unforgettable experience.
One key takeaway from my co-op experience that was particularly rewarding, was working on various RFP proposals. Before joining mcCallumSather, the business side of architecture, which plays a massive role in the process of getting projects to design, was foreign to me. Working on these RFP’s allowed me to gain invaluable insight into the firm design process in a short period of time. I also developed various coordination skills when working with different consultants on the different proposals bids.
The design aspect to the co-op term was just as rewarding, working on various project scales from preliminary feasibility studies to working on drawings sets for high-density residential developments. It was great to see how the firm was able to adapt and work in such a collaborative manner and not skip a beat as a result of COVID-19.
As well, it was interesting to see the design process work in a professional setting and how it differs from an educational setting. Architecture has so many different moving pieces, and my experience at mcCallumSather has shown how they all go together. I am incredibly grateful to have met so many amazing people.
The work environment and the team members at the firm are fantastic and filled with people and mentors who are a joy to work with. As a student, I always felt that I could go to a colleague for advice and guidance with any project or task, which created a work culture that allows team members of various skills to develop. Each and every team member I had the opportunity to work with was extremely helpful throughout this process. I would like to give a special shout-out to the team for being so welcoming and inclusive.”
“When originally searching for a co-op placement, I was so excited about mcCallumSather because of the commitment to sustainability, wide range of projects, and years of experience. Upon reflecting about my summer placement, my original feelings of excitement held true.
Throughout my 17 weeks at the office I have learned so much, from new programs, to new terminology, to new design skills. I have worked on a range of different design stages and tasks that grew my overall knowledge of architecture including, project feasibility, schematic design, SPA submission, visual impact assessment, sun-shadow study, urban design brief, site visits, working in SketchUp, and working in Revit.
Starting my term, I had minimal Revit knowledge and through experience with different types of projects, learning through doing, and dedicated training I’ve grown my Revit skills exponentially to become an intermediate level Revit user. This skill has contributed to my better understanding of the importance of a 3D model in the design process, as well as the Revit standards and methods required to properly build a model for maximum efficiency and performance.
The mentors that I have worked with throughout this term have made me feel excited to learn as they taught me so much at every opportunity and have been extremely helpful throughout the process. The whole team has also been amazing at welcoming me and continuously committing to my growth as they include me on new tasks and interesting projects. I could not be more grateful for this experience and I truly feel like this term has been immensely important for my career as a future architect.
As I return to school and continue in architecture I can step away feeling confident in my summer co-op placement having contributed to the team and learned so much in the process.”
(Important Note: photo day for the two fell on our Hawaiian Shirt day at the office – this is not a firm uniform nor do we make our students coordinate their clothing each day.)