The SOM Women’s Initiative (SOMWI) hosted its fifth annual Winter Internship Week between January 5th and 8th, 2016. Designed to give critical office exposure and mentorship to women pursuing careers in design, the program offers outstanding women studying architecture, structural engineering, or related fields the opportunity to spend four days in an SOM office shadowing professionals in a range of different disciplines.
The interns hosted in each SOM office were:
Chicago: Hailey Arterburn (The University of Texas at Austin), Gina Cannistra (Yale), Jin Rui Yap (Smith College), Sarah Felippe (Savannah College of Art and Design), and Yuxuan Wang (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign).
New York: Anne Chen (University of Virginia), Christina LoConte (Virginia Tech), and Kaley Overstreet, and Liyang Chen (Ohio State University).
Washington, D.C.: Hannah Barnes (Illinois Institute of Technology) and Kelsey Margulies (Virginia Tech)
San Francisco: Elizabeth Wong (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo), Mira De Avila-Shin (Columbia University), Michelle Pannone (Virginia Tech), Lanxi Liu (Stanford University), and Jia Shen (UC Berkeley).
Los Angeles: Paris Nelson (Harvard GSD), Augustina Radziunaite (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo)
At each office, students were paired with multiple mentors in a variety of departments including architecture, interior design, urban planning, management, and structural engineering. Their shadowing activities ranged from attending client meetings and sitting in on design charrettes to assisting with drawings and touring construction sites. By the end of the immersive program, participants came to know the spectrum of roles and responsibilities at SOM.
The SOM Women's Initiative was established in 2011 to cultivate and promote the continued development and success of women at SOM and within the design disciplines. SOMWI aims to encourage a sense of community and professional support within the firm through various mentoring programs, workshops, and internal networks.