A big congrats to Phillip Bozarth-Dreher, awarded Intern of the Year at this year's AIA Portland Design Awards! Phillip, Tom, and Michael Great were in attendance at the awards event.
The Intern of the Year Award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to a firm where he or she has been employed. The nominee must be a graduate of an architectural school and must not have been out of school longer than four years. We submitted a narrative story "describing a specific incident that demonstrates the individual’s outstanding characteristics and contributions." The full text is below:
Intern of the Year
Only one year out of school, this intern has made a significant contribution to his firm by taking initiative in two key areas: design and business development.
Because he sat next to the marketing department, our intern of the year nominee overheard discussions about business development, particularly the concern that much of the firm’s existing client base was no longer active developing housing in Portland. As a result, the firm was missing what had traditionally been an important source of work – housing in its hometown. The intern came to the Marketing Director with an idea: why not identify new young developers who are creating housing in Portland and determine if any of them might be potential clients.
The intern did a survey of all the housing development being done in Portland and created a map with a comprehensive list of the projects in design or construction, along with potential clients he thought would be a good fit for the firm.
Next he worked with the marketing Director to find legitimate reasons to contact the clients. When a Tri-Met RFP was released looking for a developer for a site near a light rail stop, the intern organized a design charette, came up with ideas for the site, then contacted several of the developers on the list to see if they were interested in taking at look at what they had come up with.
Two developers were interested, so the intern sent them the sketches. One developer quickly responded and set up a meeting with the intern, saying that he was particularly intrigued by his thinking and design ideas, which were “different than anything he had seen before.”
The intern has since continued to develop a relationship with the developer and the firm is now looking at other sites and potential projects with this new client.
Business Development like this is usually the domain of Principals or more experienced architects, but with a little encouragement this intern showed that younger staff could also play an important role. He continues to contribute to business development efforts while maintaining his other work in the office, which includes helping improve the firm’s rendering capability and working in BIM on large scale projects.
The full list of 2012 AIA Portland Design Award winners is available here: 2012 Awards Winners | American Institute of Architects Portland