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A Bittersweet Farewell to Our Co-Op, Molly Gagnon

After a long year of remote everything, RODE was pleased to welcome Molly Gagnon to our office and team. Currently in her fifth year at Northeastern University, Molly is pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Architecture and joined our team for her semester co-op. Since being at RODE, Molly has been an active team member, helping out on a variety of tasks—everything from hauling foam on a Passive House construction site to façade work for a large-scale residential building to organizing project data for marketing initiatives. When asked why she chose RODE for her co-op experience she explained,

"RODE has done a bunch of interesting projects, from a concrete facility to trendy hotels and everything in between. I also spoke to a former RODE co-op and learned about the firm's laid back, collaborative, and exciting office culture. I was sold on wanting to join the team."

For her very last assignment, we asked her to share her experience with our firm...

One thing I learned from working at RODE is that design doesn’t have to be boring. From projects to events, there always seems to be something exciting going on in the office. Having just spent over a year in online classes, being able to be back in a collaborative and spontaneous working environment was something that I was really looking forward to. Working at RODE felt like a return to the architecture school studio environment that I really enjoy, albeit with more regular hours. Being able to turn to a person, rather than a computer to get answers to questions, feedback, or just talk to someone was great, and I feel that it contributed to how quickly I felt like I was a part of the RODE team, rather than “just an intern”.

I found that RODE takes “work hard, play hard” seriously. I’ve had the pleasure of attending numerous Lunch and Learns, Trade Shows, Hive Workshops, happy hour and networking events, birthdays, promotions, site visits and holiday parties during my six months here, as well as finding the time to train and run in an 8K or go apple picking with my colleagues. I’ve also had the opportunity to help in the construction and lay down the foundations for what will hopefully be Boston’s first certified Passive House project! It feels like every week that there’s always something to look forward to socially, and even as I’m writing this now, I’m thinking about when I should make my cookies for our holiday bake-off and cookie drive for the Pine Street Inn.

The work is nonetheless exciting too. Though I’ve only worked on a few projects during my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to and work on various stages of design. From building massing models for an addition to an existing building, to ensuring that the positions of light switches in an apartment all made sense, along with making sure that bathroom plumbing and door hardware are all accounted for, I’ve learned that designing at all scales is important for the overall impact of a building, both spatially and environmentally. Of course, none of this can be done without thorough project management, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with project managers and architects that are great at staying in-tune with their projects as well as with their team members. I was able to aid in making presentation materials for community and client meetings, and learn from RODE’s approach and talent for presenting design intent and ideas to a wide audience.

The past six months went by like a whirlwind. I’m sad for my second co-op experience to come to an end, but I’m also excited to see what RODE has in store in the future, and to be able to see the projects I worked on come to life. I hope to take everything I’ve learned about architecture, design and maintaining a healthy workplace back to classes, grad school and the rest of my professional career.

We wish you the best with the rest of your time at Northeastern and hope you'll come back and visit us, Molly!


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