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Swimming in the Deep End: My Summer Internship at KSQ

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by Sarah Farnan, Oklahoma State University

As the fall semester begins and thoughts of Red Bull and all-nighters begin to flash across my mind, I am thankful to have this summer’s memories from interning at KSQ to keep me sane. It has been nothing short of an incredible experience being welcomed into the KSQ family and to have been given the high-quality mentorship that fostered growth and development in my professionalism and passion for creating spaces that truly impact a community.

Although this is the first firm that I have had the opportunity to join, I can’t imagine that any place has a dynamic like KSQ does – one of fervent innovation, welcomed collaboration, celebrated diversity, and thoughtful listening and problem-solving. My summer at KSQ has been filled with fun memories of pool parties, girls nights, and happy hours, but most importantly, this summer was made special through all of the invaluable knowledge and experience I’ve gained through the superior mentorship provided to me by the designers on staff.

Sarah tailgating with members of KSQ's interior design team.

Sarah tailgating with members of KSQ’s interior design team.

I chose to intern here because I have a heavy interest in evidence-based design, and how research conducted on interior design and architecture can be used to create an educational environment where students and faculty thrive and succeed, and KSQ has an outstanding portfolio demonstrating this process.

This summer, I worked on the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on some student housing buildings and a dining hall. Danielle and Adriana, the designers on the project, were such great mentors and really mastered the balance between challenging me with tasks I was unfamiliar with and teaching me how to successfully complete those tasks. I never felt like I was sinking or drowning, but I also never felt like I was put in the kiddie pool with floaties around my arms.

As the summer progressed, I got to know the rest of the interior designers and architects, and it’s been such a treat being able to learn something different from each of them. Everyone on staff here has something really unique that they can bring to the table that unifies the organization.

With a team as unique, yet cohesive, as KSQ, it’s hard to choose a favorite memory from the summer. Every day in the office brought laughter, professional and personal fulfillment, and a thirst for more knowledge. Although the big events like the summer pool party are so much fun and it’s great to socialize out of the office, the small, unnoticeable things like a lunch hour full of jokes and laughs, the birthday decorations at my desk, the chandelier made of Red Bull cans from a few all-nighters, and the random treats brought in just to show appreciation of the staff– those are the best memories that I will take away from KSQ!

It has been very fulfilling to be a part of a team that is working so hard every day to create an environment for students to thrive and find themselves in, whether that be in a middle school classroom or a university living community.

I am so thankful for this past summer of learning and growth, and I am even more excited to have the rest of the year to spend at KSQ, commuting between Stillwater and Tulsa during the week.*

Thank you, KSQ, for this incredible and invaluable experience!

*Editors note: That’s right! We’re keeping Sarah for as long as we can! Endless summer! 

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