Entuitive Co-op Diaries: Audrey Yan
At Entuitive, we have a great team of creative, collaborative, and advanced people, and that includes our talented co-op students. In this post by Audrey Yan, Structural Intern, we hear about which projects she worked on and what she learned this summer in our New York office. Take it away, Audrey!
I found myself in a somewhat unique predicament this summer. As an American student at a Canadian firm, I wasn’t able to complete a four-mouth co-op like many of the other students here. My internship is unfortunately quite a bit shorter, at barely eleven weeks.
I was naturally anxious that I would not have ample time to make a significant contribution during my time here, anxious also that I would not be taken seriously because of the brevity of my stay. But my anxieties have long since been assuaged. Among other things, my crowning achievement of the summer has been that, with the guidance of the wonderful Natasa Jeremic, I’ve been able to complete dozens of life cycle assessments (LCAs), tracking the embodied carbon of a diverse range of Entuitive projects over recent years. The beauty of this achievement is that I had absolutely no idea how to do an LCA before this summer. In fact, I’ve spent most of my time at Entuitive thriving in fields of work that were previously completely foreign to me.
Just as Entuitive has welcomed me as a short-term intern despite the lack of much precedent thereof, Entuitive has been just as flexible in allowing me to define my own role and pursue my own interests. Despite my now respectable portfolio of LCA work, I originally thought I’d mostly be doing structural design work during my time here. I was first introduced to Entuitive through Powell Draper, who I funnily enough also knew in a completely different capacity – he was my visiting professor in steel design during my last year at university. Accordingly, I thought that maybe I’d be doing a good amount of steel design during my time here… I was pretty wrong about that. From my very first day here, I’ve had a great deal of variety and choice in my internship experience. Even before I started , my friENd/onboarding buddy Stephanie Berrios had already been asking around the whole New York office and beyond, collecting ideas from across the firm about different work experiences I could be given in an astoundingly wide range of fields, from computational design to building envelope to sustainability and much more. The first week was an overwhelming one (not the least because I spent it from the confines of my childhood bedroom, isolating because I’d suddenly tested positive for Covid).
Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to devote most of my time to sustainability. Of course, my passion for structural design is still fully intact, but I knew my time here was limited, and I’d been particularly attracted to Entuitive because of its ambitious commitment to sustainability. I wanted to spend my time here witnessing firsthand the inner workings of Entuitive’s sustainability team. The amazing thing, which I must emphasize again, is that I was afforded the opportunity to make this decision and shape my own experience.
This decision did not preclude my exposure to other types of work, however. During my summer here, I was also able to witness Entuitive’s commitment to constant improvement and innovation. As part of one of Entuitive’s Ennovation projects, I was able to spend some time testing out the computational design team’s in-house Entuitive toolset for Grasshopper, to develop a primitive workflow for converting Rhino models directly to CSiBridge models via Grasshopper. This was incredibly fun and gave me yet another opportunity to work outside my comfort zone.
Before I conclude, I must comment on Entuitive’s One Company culture. All the co-op diaries I’ve read unfailingly gush about this unique facet of the company, and this one is no exception. It is the One Company mentality that has made it possible for me to develop such fruitful relationships with employees in other offices. In particular, I’ve been able to form a close working relationship with the amazing (and aforementioned) Natasa Jeremic, who has been not only a patient mentor at work but also a giver of many wise words and much kind advice.
This summer was wrought with unexpected misfortunes. But through getting Covid at my college graduation just days before I was supposed to start with Entuitive and a nightmare wisdom tooth surgery partway through the summer, my colleagues and the company have been supportive and accommodating beyond what I could have imagined. I’ve had a wonderfully fulfilling summer, and I’m grateful to have spent it at Entuitive.