Clara Martucci is a fourth-year architecture student who is originally from Argentina but now lives in Orlando during the times she’s not in Gainesville for school. She is a member of the DCP Ambassadors and through that association connected with the person who would lead to her current internship.

While volunteering at a DCP Ambassadors event, she met one of the Design Principals at HuntonBrady Architects. This connection played a big role in her getting an internship at the Orlando firm for this summer.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it has given our students a different experience than they could have imagined. We hear from Martucci in her own words how her internship experience has gone so far:

“I am so thankful to have an internship this summer, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. This unforeseen situation has made this internship unusual and unique. I’m grateful to be interning at HuntonBrady Architects in Downtown Orlando, a firm with over 90 employees. However, with probably 90 percent of the employees working from home, I have only met a small group.

Every day is different. Some employees don’t come in at all, some come in once or twice a week, and some come in every day. It has made an interesting dynamic. On the bright side, because the office is pretty empty, it’s not too hard keeping your distance.

There are certain things that HuntonBrady and SunTrust Plaza Management have done in light of COVID-19. In terms of the building in general, there are hand sanitizer dispensers by every elevator, there are signs to remind you to wait for the next elevator if you can’t keep the proper distance, and there are stickers on the ground in the elevator to remind you to keep the 6 foot distance.

HuntonBrady keeps all the doors closed so that only employees can get in with their fingerprint and packages are left at the door. They distributed masks for the employees and encourage us to use them in meetings and other circumstances when you can’t keep a 6 foot distance. In the lunch room it’s a little hard but we started staggering ourselves in a zigzag to keep as much distance as we can.

Of course this situation has put limits on what my internship experience would’ve been like if things were normal, but I’m choosing to focus on the positive. I am forming strong relationships with my other fellow interns. I get to grow and learn much more from my supervisor, who is able to spend more time with me since things are slower than normal. I get to have interesting and meaningful conversations with many of the employees that I’ve gotten the chance to meet. I get to learn and ask questions every single day.

And the biggest positive of them all, I get to come into an office every day and have something new to look forward to, something new to learn, and something new to smile about. For that, I am forever grateful.”

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