Our Summer Emerging Professionals

 In Articles, Company Culture, Get To Know

Our seven emerging professionals have gone above and beyond this summer. You might have gotten a peek into their life here at Hollis + Miller, when they took over our Instagram page (@HollisandMiller) or seen them out and about on site visits to the outdoor classroom they are designing.

We have been thrilled to help them learn and grow with the Hollis + Miller family these past few months. We asked them to share their experiences with us.

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Lexi Wenger

Pursuing an Interior Design Degree, Kansas State University

When deciding to work as an emerging professional at Hollis + Miller this summer, I was first drawn in by how evident it was that every individual cared about their peers. On my first day, I was able to experience the Hollis + Miller family culture by meeting very genuine people and getting involved in projects right away. One of my favorite experiences this summer has been designing with a team of 6 other emerging professionals on a project called Learnscape. Collaborating with this design team was so valuable because I had the opportunity to build relationships that will last longer than just this summer, while also learning leadership and teamwork skills through the process.

A few other highlights of this experience were being mentored, teaching high school students the process of design thinking, and lunches on the roof top! I have enjoyed the opportunity of working at Hollis + Miller and am very grateful for the impactful mark it left in my professional and individual growth.

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Audrey Lanik

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture, University Nebraska-Lincoln

Hollis and Miller presented me with an opportunity to not only build upon my architectural knowledge, but to also form lasting personal and professional relationships. My mentor offered guidance on a weekly basis and challenged me to improve over the course of my internship. I also developed strong personal relationships with my peers, whose friendships will last beyond my time at Hollis and Miller. Not only are they great designers, but they are also kind, thoughtful, well spoken, and know how to make their own fun. The designers here have taken the time to get to know me and teach me about relationships with clients, how to successfully conduct presentations, and how to design more thoughtfully. The firm’s environment fosters growth and development and truly cares about its people. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and I’m excited about the future of Hollis and Miller!

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Marilina Bedros

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Kansas State University

Whoever said that ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ was absolutely right! Working at Hollis + Miller has been a daily reminder of why I chose to pursue a career in architecture. Every day, I feel purpose in what I am doing. I am always given the opportunity to express my ideas and be heard.

While working at Hollis + Miller, I have learned more than just architecture, I have learned how to become a leader. To me, one of the most valuable lessons is the importance of empowering people to succeed and be empathetic. Early on in my internship, the emerging professionals were assigned a group of high school students to mentor for a couple of weeks. Inspiring younger students and watching them learn and grow was very rewarding. What I love the most about this firm, is that I always feel valued and am constantly challenged to become a better designer.

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Ahmed Akacha

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Kansas State University

It seems like just yesterday I walked into the office on my first day, greeted by Michael Patrick, who gave me a tour and quickly assigned me my first tasks as a member of the design team. This set the tone for what the next four months would look like for me; everyone always willing to help me and consider me as an integral part of the team.

While being an emerging professional, I’ve worked closely with multiple teams on the different aspects of the design process. I’ve had a wide range of experiences to look back on; from working with the higher education studio on a façade design for a residential hall to collaborating with the resource team on smarter ways to document building information. I’ve had the opportunity to work on tasks I didn’t even consider myself qualified for.

As an architecture student, I learn best from hands-on experience, and collaborating with other professionals has helped me grow as a designer. Not to mention, the best part of my experience has been working with three other lovely interns, who continually push me to produce the best work I can, and never hold back when I need criticism.

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Abigail Dick

Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture & Product Design, Kansas State University

My experience at Hollis + Miller beyond exceeded my expectations throughout my time here. The people at this firm truly know how to make every individual feel valued and welcome from day one. One of the most valuable things I was able to experience was the unique integration between Architecture, Interiors, Graphics, and Engineers from the very start of a project.  As a student majoring in Interior Architecture and Product Design with the opportunity to become licensed as either an Architect or Interior Designer, it has been so inspiring to see how the project teams within this firm value all their members equally and the gap between the disciplines is diminished. They say work does not feel like work when you truly enjoy what you’re doing, and that is a perfect way to describe my experience as an Emerging Professional at Hollis + Miller.

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Lauren Bennett

Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture, Arizona State University

About a week into my time here at Hollis + Miller I decided to extend my internship closer to returning to school. Forget having a few weeks of summer vacation –Hollis + Miller was obviously a special place that I needed to be a part of for as long as possible. The interns here are valued and encouraged; I never would have expected partners, design directors, and project architects to ask me for my opinions, let alone care about my responses, but here that’s the norm. Also, I don’t know of any firms who hand the reins of a real project over to their interns, but that is exactly what we have been doing with Learnscape 2019, and getting that experience has taught me more than I thought possible for one summer’s worth of time. I cannot wait to see the students experience their outdoor learning environment, and am so grateful to share this joy with such a talented group of emerging professionals. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been a part of the H+M family and as my time here ends, I know I will cherish this engaging and rewarding adventure for the entirety of my career.

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Kelsey Miller

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

This summer has been full of laughter, growth and building friendships. I had no idea work could be so much fun! I am extremely thankful to have been welcomed into the Hollis + Miller family with open arms. Since day one, I have been challenged to think differently, be bold and to be intentional both in design and with people. Throughout the summer one of the primary projects I had the opportunity to work on was Learnscape. It pushed me to consider the details and constructability of a project in a new way. During my time, I’ve learned so much, and am thankful for the mentor focused environment at Hollis + Miller. Everyone in the office is always willing to help and give advice. Overall it has been an amazing summer I won’t forget. Also, shout out to the H+M Softball team, thanks for your encouragement and patience!

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