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Penn’s Justin Moore As Sustainable Architecture Intern In Vietnam

ABROADER February 16, 2022 3 minute read

My name is Justin Moore and I interned at Van Aelst Nguyen & Partners for 8 weeks during the summer of 2021.

I am a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Architecture with a minor in Environmental Studies. I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity through Penn Abroad’s Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP). Although I participated virtually from America given the complications of the pandemic, I still had an amazing experience.

Throughout my internship, I worked on several projects which each utilized different skills. For example, on a villa project, I converted sketches into AutoCAD. Another time, I was able to use my own creative skills to propose a layout for a corner room in a hotel project. Additionally, I generated sustainability initiatives for an office building and expressed my proposal in an image that I created in Adobe Illustrator. These were three of many projects I had the opportunity to work on, and as you can see, they were each unique. These projects challenged me in different ways and pushed me to reach limits I never thought I could.

During my 8 weeks, I worked closely with Steve (the architecture director) and three other employees: Vi, Ngoc, and Thien. We would meet regularly via Zoom to discuss progress and steps for moving forward. I valued our meetings as they facilitated collaboration and also served as a time to check-in with the team. What I appreciated most is that I was treated like every other employee: my ideas were respected, and I was doing meaningful work that was helping the company. I didn’t feel like an intern at the bottom of a pyramid as you might find elsewhere.

Some architecture projects that Justin worked on

I learned a great deal from this internship. It was exciting to see the creative process, collaboration, client feedback, and experience the field in a professional setting. Van Aelst Nguyen & Partners helped solidify my interest architecture. I will take all of the knowledge I gained from this internship during the rest of my education and path in architecture. Special thank you to Steve and everyone I worked with this summer for making me feel welcome.

Final meeting with Steve, the supervisor from the host company

What is else apart from the internship?

Apart from the work, I really enjoy the cultural sessions. It was awkward in the beginning because I knew no one and was a bit shy with a big group but the team was very welcoming and friendly. I am surprised that I learned a lot about Vietnam from the sessions and was able to make real friends from an online program! I will definitely make plans to visit Ho Chi Minh city to say hi to my host companies and eat all the street food with the local buddies.

About Remote Internship

This program is part of our Global Remote Internship where international students are matched to work with local organizations and companies based on their career and personal interests.

If you are looking for an internship opportunity and care about community development, explore the potential opportunities here:

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