Get Out of Town! Externships Provide Eye-Opening Experiences for LSU Architecture Students

lsu architecture externships

Kyle Springmann makes a site visit during his externships at assemblageSTUDIO in Las Vegas.

Over the 2014 winter break, the School of Architecture had 10 students participate in externships at prestigious design firms all over the country.

The School of Architecture facilitates a one week, unpaid externship program that takes place during winter and spring break for students interested in learning more about the profession. Externships provide unique opportunities for students to shadow professionals in architecture and design practices. Students who participate in externships develop a sense for the transition from school to professional practice and are introduced to the environment of an architecture office.

The 10 students were placed at prestigious firms in Seattle, Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, Boston, and Las Vegas.

Third-year student Richard Abbot was placed at Olson Kundig in Seattle, Washington. A Seattle-based firm of more than 90 employees, Olson Kundig Architects’ worldwide work includes museums, commercial design, academic buildings, exhibit design, interior design, places of worship, and residences—often for art collectors.

SOM, Chicago

SOM, Chicago

Third-year students Isabella Gizinski and Brianna Leblanc were both placed at Mack Scogin Merrill Elam in Atlanta, Georgia. Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects executes designs and management work for project types ranging from airports and hospitals to corporate and industrial campuses. In addition to architecture, services offered by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects include graphic design, exhibit design, interior design, planning, programming, and research.

Second-year student Eva Knapp was placed at H3 in New York City. H3 is a nationally recognized leader in the planning and design of active public spaces that enhance the fabric and culture of the community. H3 designs projects that respond to context, honor cultural heritage, and serve as catalysts for vibrancy.

“The experience made me realize the difference between college work and real-world work,” said Eva.

Laura Kurtz was placed at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in New York City. BIG is a Copenhagen and New York City based group of architects, designers, builders, and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, research, and development. BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes.

lsu architecture externships

Margaret Long, Renzi Terrebonne, and Sara Loquist participated in externships at SOM, Chicago.

Graduate students Renzi Terrebonne and Sara Loquist, as well as third-year undergraduate student Margaret Long, were placed at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in Chicago, Illinois. SOM is one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. SOM’s unrivaled portfolio contains some of the greatest design achievements in the modern era. SOM is renowned for their iconic buildings and their steadfast commitment to design excellence, innovation, and sustainability. Renzi worked in the architecture division; Margaret and Sarah worked on a presentation about the UN Climate Control Summits and design implications.

“It was an amazing experience to be a part of such a big and accomplished firm,” said Margaret.

Undergraduate student Jacob Thevenot was placed at NADAAA in Boston, Massachusetts. NADAAA is a platform for design investigation at a large scale and with a great geographic reach. NADAAA’s projects range in scale from furniture to architecture and urban design, with a focus on craft, construction, and digital fabrication.


Third-year student Kyle Springmann was placed at assemblageSTUDIO in Las Vegas, Nevada. assemblageSTUDIO creates site specific projects which embrace the inherent qualities of the respective environment. Design and sustainability are brought together to develop appropriate desert responses to modern living and working spaces.

“Working under the guidance of Eric Strain and his team at assemblageSTUDIO was a positive and eye opening experience to say the least,” said Kyle. “ I highly recommend that all architecture students extern before graduating as it is a great opportunity to network and share experiences with people from around the country.”

The School of Architecture will have at least 10 students participate in externships over the upcoming spring break. Visit for more information about the LSU externship program.