Hannah Holland shares her Summer Marketing Intern Experience

Are there any outcomes you gained from this internship that differ from what you expected?

I learned far more “architecture speak” than I ever expected. The team got me involved on projects and talked me through their processes in such a way that even as a business student with no experience in the industry, I was able to understand the value of the work done here. I have such respect for the way this team focuses on every detail and passionately blends functionality with aesthetic.

What was most satisfying about your role and/or the internship experience?

I have been able to try out so many different activities from basic graphic design to writing narratives to conducting research. There have been far more areas of AEC marketing available to me than I expected. More than simply testing the waters, I was able to contribute to the team. It was so satisfying to know my work was valued and put to good use whether it was a graphic in a presentation or a narrative for a social media post.

What was one of the most memorable things that happened in the office during your time here?

I overheard a conversation debating whether or not a tree was appropriate in a specific rendering. I never expected to overhear a discussion about a tree, but it showed me how seriously everyone values the quality of their work. Each deliverable is carefully poured over, and every element is considered, even down to rendered trees.

I was also lucky to work for the architecture firm that designed the Phoenix Sun’s training facility while the team was in the NBA Finals. Each game brought such energy to the office! It showed me how much pride DFDG takes in their projects and how connected they continue to be even well past completion. Whether it was pep rallies or office t-shirts, the team spirit was strongly represented throughout my entire internship.

What do you believe is the next step in your career and how did DFDG help prepare you to get there?

I will be entering my junior year at ASU with a new form of marketing under my belt after my time at DFDG. Currently in the process of discovering which area of marketing I connect with most, I intend to continue dabbling in different industries. Working in AEC marketing this summer has been a true pleasure. DFDG’s marketing team works to support their principals and architects at impressive speeds.

Were there any responsibilities you initially didn’t feel ready for but managed to step up and succeed in doing?

I had little experience in the Adobe programs DFDG uses but caught on quickly with the help of the marketing team. The office is set up so openly that people are willing and eager to help. In just two short months, I was able to learn so much about the process of winning a project from submitting qualification packages to acing interviews.

Favorite project you contributed to?

In working on updating project sheets for projects from the last 20 years, I was able to see so many different types of work. I loved seeing everything from colorful public libraries to bold municipal courthouse design.

I started my internship in interview prep for the Mesa PD Headquarters Renovation Project. This was such an impactful way to start the summer here because the team was presenting complicated information in a way a general audience member could understand. This allowed me to quickly jump on board and start helping before having built up my architectural vocabulary. This was also a great opportunity to watch people who are brilliant and passionate at what they do find the best way to express that under the pressures of content expectations and a time limit.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during this internship?

I was tasked with writing updated project narratives for the website. This was an interesting challenge for me because I had to learn to write in DFDG’s voice rather than my own. Shifting that perspective was an interesting hurdle to overcome, but I believe it made me a better writer and certainly taught me to write in a style for marketing I had not experimented with before. This challenge expanded my idea of what writing for marketing means.

What was the greatest lesson you learned during your time at DFDG?

I learned the value of backing up your words with your actions. After researching DFDG’s recent rebranding, I learned how storytelling communicates company values. Everything down to the new logo represents DFDG at its heart. I read a lot of branding material about company values, but by interacting with each team member, I learned they all represent those values. Each member strives to create functional and beautiful spaces that match the needs of the client. A supportive environment that fosters creativity and fun helps build up the team. Even in my short time here, I could feel that. This is the only office I have ever worked in where everyone shows up genuinely wanting to be there.

How did you adapt to changes in your work environment over the course of your internship?

Marketing is fast-paced and versatile here. I was lucky to explore many different corners of it. This included visiting partners and consultants for interview prep, tours, and discussions. I am so grateful DFDG takes its interns seriously. I am a student and value learning as my top priority. DFDG took that to heart and created opportunities for me to experience different parts of marketing inside and outside of their studio.