Thursday, September 24, 2009

Do you get to go to meetings?

Before I get too far into my next post, I should ask: how many of you now or in the recent past get to/got to go to meetings? Did you go to meetings with the clients? The engineers? The contractors? Anyone? Ever? It's usually been my experience that interns rarely if ever get to go to meetings for the projects on which they work, and while I understand the reasoning behind not sending you, I don't always agree with that reasoning.

Sound off in the comments or even in an email in the sidebar and share your experiences with project meetings (or your lack of experience thereof). Thanks!


  1. I've worked at a small firm for several summers, and I am most certainly in the "rarely attends" category of meetings. While I completely understand the reasons for not sending an intern like myself to some meetings, others could prove invaluable to the education of an intern (which one hopes is of some importance to the mentor). Not only do we get the experience of meeting clients, contractors and subs (and the personalities that often come with) and listening in on design concerns, but we see (more importantly) how the architect communicates with them. You've talked about the importance of communication in previous posts, and I couldn't agree more. Attending meetings first hand gives the intern direct experience of how to communicate effectively without placing pressure on them to know the answer right off the bat. In reality, all an architect needs to do is bring the intern to take 'meeting notes', which should be done anyways, and everybody wins. I suppose, reluctantly, that in some ways interns at these meetings become like kickers on football teams: they should speak only when spoken to.

  2. Anon, I love your analogy of the kicker regarding this. You're right--going to meetings shows you what's involved in getting a project done, and it gives you great insight into how to (and how not to) communicate with others on a team. I'll be dong a post on this next week. Thanks for your input!