Mentorship: Internship

Re-Imagining Wayfinding 2012
Mentor Catherine Pulkinghorn

Intern Reflections

Essays by Aska Djikia, Madeleine Hebert, Sandy Wang, Christine Carino

This summer marks my fourth consecutive year as a Vancouver dweller; I moved here at the age of 17 to attend university, and would like to believe that I quickly adapted to the Vancouver pace and life. In my third year, I began to experiment beyond my comfort levels; as a shy introvert, many platforms seemed unattainable to me, such as public speaking, community engagement, and even just speaking with strangers randomly. This took a lot of time and dedication, observation and mentorship; I joined and eventually headed committees, became a member of the Students’ Union, and began to taste the thrill of public outreach and leadership.

Read More from Aska Djikia

I met Catherine Pulkinghorn at one of my final studio exhibitions at the Salt Building (in Olympic Village) in Vancouver. The studio exhibition was for my final studio of the Environmental Design Program at UBC. We were looking at the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood and spent half a semester mapping and analyzing the area and the next half working on specific design proposals. We met by chance, and had a long discussion about my studio project and the process I had gone through to develop it. After a long conversation she handed me her business card. I jokingly showed my classmates that I had gotten a business card (there was a friendly competition going on) but was interested when Catherine mentioned that they were looking for interns to become involved in the project. Later that week I visited the Artists Walking Home website and was intrigued by the projects. I am really interested in the idea of community-based design, and I thought the project suited this interest well. I decided to follow up because I felt like this could be a new experience for me that could be enriching; I wanted to take every opportunity I could in my field of study after graduation.

Read More from Madeleine Hebert

Over the past several years I’ve grown increasingly curious about Vancouver. As a city I’ve lived in for most of my life, I’ve come to develop a kind of affection for the beauty, the faults, and the peculiarities of what I can comfortably call my home. As an almost corny sentiment I feel as though the city and I grew up together, and just as this place sites the origin of my physical and mental growth, so too have I witnessed Vancouver’s perpetual pursuit to mature and re-brand. Like awkward teenagers we fuss over the details of our identity, constantly shifting what it means to have a definitive sense of self. The process is hard, sometimes ugly, and no doubt filled with mistakes along the way.

Read More from Sandy Wang

Life is strange, isn’t it? We succumb to pressure and transform for the sake of conformity and social constructs. It’s crazy how deep in your heart, you can feel that something is missing. I think about the past few years and the effect my academic and professional instability had on me. It felt as though every single aspect of my life was being scrutinized: my culture, the neighbourhood I grew up in, the university I attended, the kinds of friends I was hanging out with – all the way down to my own skin colour. My whole being was never good enough.

Read More from Christine Carino