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  • Writer's pictureKyle Nichols

Comma's first intern

This summer Comma Designworks welcomed our first intern into the office. From our first conversation with her, Hollie seemed like someone who would mesh well and be a good fit with our team. We were so excited when she accepted our offer to be a part of the Summer Internship Program.

As fun as being a designer can be, some of the tasks are more exciting than others, including becoming the office “truck expert” while researching loading dock design standards, but Hollie did it all with a smile. Working with Hollie all summer served as a good reminder of why Comma challenges all of our team members to be lifelong learners, and why with every new hire, we set out to build an office that maintains an excitement to keep learning as we grow. Architecture often affords us that opportunity with each new type of project. Whether it’s a pizza kitchen, metal fabrication, or a flower shop, we get a chance to learn a little about all types of industries each time we talk on a new job. You can look at it as a chore, or you can choose to look at it as a chance to continue to grow.

As valuable as office experience can be for an architecture student, when someone decides to give up their summer to come work for you, you hope you can make it worth the trade. College summers are often the last hurrah before entering a line of work that runs all year round. The least you can do is try and make every day as fun as it is informative. Hollie made this easy for us. Her upbeat attitude never faltered. Hollie was completely unafraid of new things. She never shied away from sharing her opinions to both the design team and even to clients. She was always eager to take on any task that came her way.

Earlier this week, Hollie sent the whole office an email with the subject line “a gift.” Inside we found a list of all the funny things we had said in the office all summer that she had been writing down in sketchbooks. It was a good reminder that the best gifts aren’t elaborate or extravagant but simple and thoughtful. We spent all afternoon laughing all over again about all the little things we had joked about.

Today is bittersweet. This afternoon we celebrated our last day with Hollie. As easy as everything else was this summer, today was hard. It was the first time we’ve ever had to say goodbye to a coworker and a friend. The office will be a little quieter on Monday.

Hollie, you helped out on a lot of projects this summer. We hope you enjoyed your time at Comma as much as we did. You kept us all laughing, and you made each day a little more fun. We will miss you, but we hope you have a great year at UTK. Thank you for spending your summer with us! Cheers!

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