First week of my internship

Connor Aitken

Architectural Technology Student, Edinburgh Napier University

Timber Frame Intern, FastHouse, HCI Skills Gateway

Travelling To Northern Ireland

Having never been on a car ferry before I had an extra reason to be nervous about travelling to start my internship. Preparation is key for alleviating nerves I have found I hate packing but got the family roped in a few days before to ensure my car was ready to go first thing in the morning at approximately 3:30 AM on Saturday. My documents were printed off and to hand and my route on google maps was downloaded to ensure I was prepared for any eventuality. Travelling went off without a hitch and I think it was a good idea to arrive a few days early to get settled into my accommodation. I had never stayed in student halls before so that has been a new experience for me as well. New surroundings and new people had me slightly overwhelmed, but I think it's important to note that whenever you're feeling nervous somewhere new you can always phone friends or family back home and let them know how you’re getting on. It does wonders for negating those initial feelings of being homesick. Don’t forget to get out there and explore your new surroundings too it will put your mind at ease knowing where your nearest shop and coffee place is.

Day 1 at FastHouse

Arriving bright and early and well dressed in a smart shirt is always a good idea after all first impressions are some of the most important moments in your professional career. My induction was amazing seeing the large facility and everyone working together was impressive. I got my desk and my pc set up and made my introductions to my colleagues and bosses. Don’t worry if you get a little overwhelmed with everyone’s names it’ll take time and happens to the best of us. On my first day, I got my project briefing, and it was reiterated to me just how fast my internship will fly by and the importance of keeping regular notes and weekly project reports on what I’ve been doing and what I have achieved.

Day 3

It can be easy to be overwhelmed with tasks when the expectations of you are presented to you but always keep in mind that no one achieves company objectives alone. Reach out to your colleagues to everyone you can and gather as much information and help as you can. You are only going to be at your company for 8,10 or 12 weeks and they are likely to have been there for a lot longer than that. If they don’t know the answer to your many questions, I guarantee they will know someone who can help. Always be curious you are there to learn and the best way is to ask questions, there is no such thing as a stupid question especially if this is your first time entering the world of work. You will make mistakes but remember they are valuable tools for improving yourself so that next time you will smash it.

Day 5

The end of a working week already it has flown by that is for sure. I’ve already learned so much about how things work in a design office and in a manufacturing plant. I’ve seen huge machinery masses of building materials being refined by hand after being accurately designed in the offices above. Being able to hear the hum of the factory in the design office keeps everyone engaged on task and acutely aware of the huge impact they have in ultimately building the sustainable homes of tomorrow.


As much as you are on your internship to learn and work, don’t forget to enjoy your downtime. I for instance went to see the infamous giant’s causeway and treated myself to some fish and chips to boot. Make sure and enjoy your summer on the weekends working 5 days a week can take some getting used to and it's important to relax when you can.

Written by: Connor Aitken
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