Introducing Heather, the Intern

A summer internship can be a deeply rewarding learning experience for many young people, and in this spirit of learning, we invited our newest summer intern Heather to write about her journey with our crazy clan at Winter Street.  Check out her unique story in our newest series from “Heather the Intern.” – Allison, Director of Business Development.

First Impressions                       


Heather, The Intern

First, let me introduce myself, my name is Heather Fiato.  I am a sophomore Industrial Engineering major at UMASS Amherst.  For the past week I’ve been an intern here at Winter Street Architects.  So the first thing that probably just popped into your head was, “an engineering student… at an Architecture firm??”  When I first heard about it that’s what I thought too.  I have only been through one year of college and all I’ve really taken are general classes, a little computer programming, and engineering classes that were basically just problem solving; all of which I doubted would aid me in any way at an architecture firm.

In the nowhere near future, I want to open an Industrial Engineering Firm that helps companies become more efficient.  When I say more efficient I mean more efficient economically-with time and labor.  So for example, I would create an assembly line that requires less time and energy to produce various products (think “Toyota Way“).  So my main reason for taking the internship was my minor: Engineering Management.  What I’m most interested in looking at is the business end of Winter Street Architects, and I honestly wasn’t expecting there to be so much to consider. 

On my first day here at Winter Street Architects I was nervous to say the very least.  As a second year college student, this would be the first time I had ever done the 9-5 in a “corporate office,” but the office here is unique, in only the good ways.  Nothing was like the “real world” office I thought of…the first thing I noticed was a rock wall to the ceiling; immediately I forgot everything I had previously assumed or expected.  The people were welcoming and seemed eager to involve me in what they were doing – from presentations to client meetings.  I was eager to absorb anything they wanted to share, and with that my nerves subsided. 

I realized pretty quickly that a lot of what WSA does involves strategy and…(ehem) problem solving! And in the past week alone, I’ve realized the benefit of sharing knowledge outside “my industry”…it’s not just about sticking to what you know, but borrowing from those you admire and seeking out new ideas.  This is what keeps people and companies fresh and innovative.  Being at Winter Street, I get the inside view of how a successful, creative business is run and there is so much I can think back on as I continue my education.  Why would I ever pass up a chance to experience that?

Even though architecture is not my chosen field, I am excited about this opportunity and the new experience here at Winter Street Architects. Stay tuned for more!

One Response to “Introducing Heather, the Intern”
  1. Nancy says:

    I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing.

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