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BuroHappold Engineering
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Stella Murray

Liberal Arts Major(s): Italian
Other Major: Architecture
Minor: International Arts, Global and International Studies, Architectural History
Hometown: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience was immersing myself in all that London (UK) had to offer! I decided to spend most weekends in the city to take advantage of the restaurants, museums, and history that stretches much farther back than that of the United States of America. In addition, my internship provided me the opportunity to go on site visits throughout the city and view it with a different perspective (i.e. that of an acoustic designer). It is safe to say that I know London like the back of my hand at this point! I had begun the summer with a bucket list of places to visit. By the end of the summer I had fulfilled all of my wishes - and even showed a couple of Londoners around the city! I look forward to the prospect of returning to the city that I know well enough to call a second home.

At the end of my eight-week internship, I feel as though the experience that I had in the city has forever changed my academic approach

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a student in the College of Arts & Architecture, I had envisioned pursuing architecture as a profession upon graduation. Having been exposed to architectural engineering in the first couple of years at Penn State, I realized that I would like to pursue a career somewhere between architecture and engineering. BuroHappold Engineering has provided me the opportunity for two summers to serve as an intern and explore the career possibilities out there. This past summer, I interned in Acoustic Design and learned firsthand the computer programs and on-site testing strategies. At the end of my eight-week internship, I feel as though the experience that I had in the city has forever changed my academic approach. I now view the Bachelor of Architecture as a means by which I reached the conclusion that design is the field for me. In my final year of the B.Arch., I am taking advantage of the time that I have left as a prospective architect prior to entering the workforce as a designer.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

As previously mentioned, I had accepted the offer to attend Penn State with the idea that I would become an architect upon graduation. Since the summer of 2017 (in which I interned for BuroHappold Engineering for the first time), I have been fully exposed to the world of engineering. From 2017 on, I have felt so at home in this world that I have decided to pursue engineering, and lighting design in particular, as a career. Without the opportunities offered to me by BuroHappold Engineering to experiment with electrical engineering, lighting design, and acoustic design, I may not have ever seriously considered a career in engineering. Those opportunities have expanded my worldview and have encouraged me to used my skills of architecture (learned in the pursuit of a B.Arch. degree) in the world of engineering.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program served me in two ways. The first is financially. Due to me being in a foreign country (UK) for eight weeks, I had to pay for everything - including a ticket to get me there! With the help of the College of the Liberal Arts enrichment funding as a Paterno Fellow, I was able to pay for my plane ticket to and from England. In these terms, the Paterno Fellows Program made my internship possible. The second way is more important to me on a personal level. Through the PFP I have learned how to be a leader in multiple disciplines. As a student in the College of Liberal Arts, I was able to use my Italian-speaking skills with my Italian colleagues at work. I showed myself to be a leader and a hard worker. These are two qualities that the PFP has ingrained into my psyche - and I am eternally grateful for it!

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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