I am a senior at Lawrence Tech majoring in architectural engineering. This summer I am experiencing my first internship as well as a new city. I am interning at Henderson Engineers in New York City. I first heard about Henderson when they gave a company presentation at school. Their laid back style, casual dress code, and types of projects drew me in. When I’m not working in downtown I like to be a tourist and explore all the things the city has to offer. This summer I was fortunate enough to go to Italy. It is awesome learning about all the buildings and its architecture in the architectural engineering history class, but to see it in person was amazing. Besides vacations, I recommend to the underclassmen to research what companies offer internships, go to career fairs, and talk to Professor Walters about internship opportunities. Experiencing and internship is beneficial because it teaches you more than just basic knowledge to be an engineer. It teaches you how to work on a team, understand all the components that go into a project, and what it will be like to have a full time job in the discipline you chose. Having an internship this summer in the city has given me so many opportunities that I normally would not have the option to do. For example I was able to see the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square as well as see an awesome view of Times Square. The picture on the right is of the Florence Cathedral with the famous dome in the background.
I struggle to find words that even come close to adequately expressing how much I gained from studying abroad. People don’t tell you how hard it is to talk about your experiences when you come back from studying overseas. Sure you can show them pictures and tell them about where you went but you’ll never be able to make them feel the same way you did. The awe of seeing structures thousands of years old. The wonder of bustling city streets. The only way I can really describe my trip is life changing. I learned so much and saw so many different perspectives of the world that there’s no way my life couldn’t have changed.
Architecturally, I can’t stress enough how amazing it is to see the variety and spontaneity of European cities. There’s an unmistakable distinction to places where we as mankind have lived, refined, and innovated over thousands of years. Architecture is the common art across all cultures. Observing the infinite subtleties that differ from country to county, city to city, even street to street is so intoxicating. Many a time I found myself drawn across cities, meandering from street to street, following the flows of the architecture, tracing the progression of history and innovation laid in the brick of the walls.
On a more interpersonal level, traveling across Europe fosters independence and really puts the vastness of the world into perspective. The first few times I found myself in a place where I didn’t speak the language were stressful but I quickly grew to embrace the feeling. For me personally it was almost surreal to be able to just listen to the conversations floating about, not quite cacophonous, yet not quite comprehensible either. I tended to stray far away from the “touristy” icons of cities and really focus on the culture and heritage of the city. Many of my fondest memories stem from painfully basic attempts at conversation that only happen when neither party speaks a language the other can understand.
A lot of people act like they are scared of being placed in an unfamiliar setting. I know that the me from a year ago would never have thought of enjoying the very experiences I now look back on and cherish. The biggest lesson I can pass on is simply to appreciate the experiences you constantly live in. Once you accept that you are what you make of your experiences nothing will ever seem menial or bothersome ever again. To me, this was absolutely the most important thing I changed in my life, there’s so much to experience in life that there’s no time to treat moments as if they’re worthless.
Michael Paciero, Lawrence Tech ‘ 15
As an architectural engineering major at Lawrence Tech, Michael Paceiro has a passion for sustainable development projects. As a Michigan native, he also has a passion for preserving his state. In pursuing his Fellow project, he sought to combine these passions while developing himself as a balanced man.
Paceiro recently led a 50-man team through a sustainability-focused construction project known as “reconstruction” with his chapter brothers and friends. In this method, a building that would otherwise be torn down and sent to the dump in scraps is instead analyzed for the value of its individual parts. Then, using a specialized method, the building is carefully deconstructed to preserve the usable parts of the structure. With these parts in tact, developers are able to design and construct new buildings using the materials.
Paceiro said while the project was focused on sustainable building, he also used the opportunity to educate his team on the grim reality that many Detroit residents are facing concerning the sustainability of their city. The team had the opportunity to interact and build relationships with the local residents during the project, exposing them to the people most impacted by the challenges. The increased awareness has motivated many of his chapter brothers to get involved in other service opportunities in the metro-Detroit area.
Paceiro and his team are now not only working to complete the deconstruction process, but also seeking funding to design and build a prototype house in Detroit utilizing the materials from the project.
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