DKLEVY Architectural Firm Offers Internships for College of Architecture and Design Students
KNOXVILLE, TN–DKLEVY Architectural Firm offers paid internships to University of Tennessee, Knoxville students from the College of Architecture and Design. Students who work with the DKLEVY design team receive hands-on, practical experience as they navigate real projects from conceptual design to building construction.
DKLEVY Founder and President Daniel Levy hopes to bridge the gap between what students are learning in the university setting to the office environment of a real-world design experience. “A team approach to the creative process is key to successful design. Everyone on the team contributes to the success of a project. Our interns are given freedom and opportunity in projects and work closely with our management team offering them practical solutions which the students will carry on to their future jobs,” Levy said.
The University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design program provides students an environment where curiosity and exploration are welcomed. The hands-on program creates a community of lifelong learners and creative thinkers who are passionate about transforming the world through design, and the administration understands the need for practical career preparation.
“When professionals take steps to help students learn and mature as designers, everyone wins,” said Julie Beckman, director of the Center for Student Development at the College of Architecture and Design. “We appreciate the support DKLEVY shows our students, and we’re thankful for engaged alumni, like Daniel Levy.”
University of Tenn. rising juniors Gunner Martin and KariBeth Propes have interned with DKLEVY since their sophomore year. The interns have a unique opportunity to move outside of campus studies and develop skills and practice drawings, renderings, implementing programs and using technology that the classroom cannot provide.
“I have valued the vast experience during each phase of projects and this exposure is so much greater than I imagined,” Martin said. “I started my internship working on a specific project, and now I have been tasked with designing a complete project from initial idea, to sketches, and then meeting the wants and needs of the client.”
“DKLEVY is like a tight knit family, and team collaboration is vital. It is special to have a small business like DKLEVY that can deliver a large firm experience,” Levy said. “Interns are exposed to the full spectrum of residential, senior living, entertainment and commercial projects and see them from start to finish.”
The size of the DKLEVY firm allows students to see the full gamut of design work and learn how to address real time problem-solving challenges. “From writing a proposal, which most architects might not experience for several years after graduating, to attending site visits, and meeting directly with clients which is an extremely beneficial part of the process,” Levy said.
“We work directly with the principal architect, and we are definitely doing more than just observing the process,” Propes said. “This (DKLEVY) team works hard, and they care about seeing their interns grow. Working at DKLEVY has given us practical experience, and we are applying these skills into both the university and future work setting. It is exciting to know that they want to see us grow and become better designers.”
Levy is a graduate of the UT College of Architecture and Design program and knows the importance of gaining practical experience prior to landing a new job just out of school. “We want to support and come alongside students at UT Knoxville and see it moving forward as a strategic partnership. Getting that first job at a firm is sometimes so hard for students who don’t have prior firm experience on their resume. The goal for us long term is to provide these opportunities for interns, helping them gain knowledge and expertise before graduation, and also to make Knoxville a desirable place to work from,” Levy said.
“Historically, after graduating from architecture school, Knoxville loses great talent to big cities, like New York City, Miami, and Chicago. We are licensed and have projects developing those cities but can provide a quality lifestyle from east Tennessee where Knoxville could be the hub for great talent,” Levy said.
DKLEVY is a full service, client-focused architectural firm with specialization in architecture, interior design and planning/research. DKLEVY has managed over $325M in projects in thirteen different states and three countries. The firm focuses on designing exceptional experiences in entertainment, senior living, multi-family living, religious and a variety of other work and living spaces. The team is passionate about listening deeply to the clients’ vision, values and goals for any project and each project is guided by the needs of the end user whether it’s a place to work, worship, live or play.