Matthew Ekins – Internship

Last month, we said farewell to our latest intern from the University of Adelaide, Matthew Ekins. Before he left, we took the time to speak with him about his experience interning at Hodgkison, what he learned while he was here, and what he is looking forward to after he graduates.

How did you find your time with Hodgkison?

It’s been great, it’s been challenging, it’s been fun!

I have gained a lot of experience from it and hope I can gain some more as I reflect on it in the future. Learning never stops. It’s been an absolutely great work environment, and I’ve thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.

What was the most interesting or unexpected thing you learnt with us?

I think the relationship between architecture and construction managers and construction companies has been a huge surprise to me. As well as the integration with clients. We worked closer with clients than I expected, they are more deeply involved than I first thought, which makes sense in hindsight. It was interesting to learn how the Hodgkison team works between these two groups so that a client’s needs and vision are met while also making the best use of the resources the construction and other companies provide.

What was your favorite experience working with Hodgkison?

I loved going to site, that’s always fun. It was exciting to see the projects that I normally only see on paper in real life. To know they are real places and builds. I also really enjoyed the projects I had been given the chance to work independently on, with supervision of course. It felt good that it was my work at the end, that something I worked on might soon exist in the real world.

How different has it been working in the industry compared to your expectations?

At the start of this, I had some experience in the construction industry, particularly interior design but there is a complete difference between commercial and residential design. Obviously, there are some direct relations between commercial and residential design. But the more closely you look at it, the more the differences become apparent. The ability and the knowledge that people have here (at Hodgkison) is impressively broad and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to learn from them.

Is there anything you are looking forward to exploring more in the future?

I can see myself going anywhere, to be honest. I love the whole thing and have a passion for everything I have experienced so far. Maybe I will specialize in the future, but for now I am going to see where the world takes me.

What advice would you give to any students starting their placement, or are looking to start soon?

I would say ‘ask questions.’ I know it’s cliché, but if you don’t ask questions, you won’t gain anything out of it. The information won’t come to you because people don’t know what you don’t know. And there are so many ways to find things out. When you come across a gap in your knowledge, ask the others in your team, or take the time to research it so you can master it in the future. Bring your design thinking from Uni, bring all the core fundamentals, and be prepared to learn new ones. But as long as you have that background, that research ability, you will be fine.

Congratulations Matt on completing your internship, and good luck with your remaining studies at the University of Adelaide. We are always excited to support new talent entering the industry and cannot wait to see what you accomplish with your career.