Student Interns Share Their Experience

Each year, Kahler Slater welcomes architecture student interns to our teams to provide them with exposure to the architecture and design industry and gain better insight into the working world. Throughout the summer, our interns had the opportunity to collaborate with their teams, contribute fresh ideas and insight, visit project sites, attend educational sessions, and networking and volunteering events.

As we wrap up the summer, we asked two of our interns to share insights about their experience, what they learned, and their favorite projects:

Paola Serrano-Alba joined Kahler Slater as an ACE Mentor Program of Milwaukee intern last summer and we were excited she chose to return to our firm again this summer. Paola graduated from St. Augustine Preparatory Academy High School and will be attending the University of WI-Milwaukee this fall to study architecture.

Jorge Saenz is a student at UW-Milwaukee studying for his master’s degree in architecture. In 2020, he earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture. Jorge will continue to work at Kahler Slater on the Higher Education, Sports and Recreation, and Civic and Cultural team during the school year.

Crescent Apartments tour

What is it like to work at Kahler Slater?

Paola: I was a little nervous, but as soon as my internship started everyone was very welcoming and willing to help me with any questions I had. I received great advice from everyone at the firm. The culture is very supportive and welcoming.

Jorge: At Kahler Slater you are surrounded by intelligent and passionate people, with contagious enthusiasm for creating something great. I appreciated the conversations and mentorship I received and felt very much part of the team.

UW-Madison Natatorium site visit
Tours of local Kahler Slater projects

What did you learn?

Paola: I learned a lot this summer, but most importantly I learned how to read and understand floor plans. It’s been fascinating to see how the design process varies for each project as well as material selection. This internship gave me a sneak peek into an architect’s career and everything that comes with it.

Jorge: During my internship, I learned what it is like to work and communicate as a team and to solve a problem in the most creative and effective way possible. As I begin the fall semester at UW-Milwaukee, I’m excited to bring new insights, tools, and software knowledge with me.

What was your favorite project you worked on and why?

Paola: I was able to work on a variety of projects and especially liked joining the team for site visits and attending meetings. My favorite site visit was the UW-Madison Natatorium project. Last year we visited this site prior to the start of construction. When visiting the site this summer, it was amazing to see how far construction had come in less than a year. I also enjoyed the site tour of our Crescent Apartments project in Milwaukee and tours of the completed Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Bradley Symphony Center, Westin Hotel downtown, and Milwaukee Athletic Club renovation. These tours were fascinating.

Jorge: One of my favorite projects I worked on was the new School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences project at UW-Madison. The inclusive and sustainable design had several unique challenges that resulted in compelling solutions. I was also able to see the site location for this project and our Natatorium project currently in construction while on a campus site visit with the team. Lastly, I had the opportunity to work on award submittal materials for the new Resch Expo in Green Bay, WI including updating floor plans and diagrams.

Thank you to all of our interns for your contributions!

UW-Madison Natatorium site visit
MSO Bradley Symphony Center project tour