Farewell to interns

Laura Black By: Laura Black

Saying farewell to our summer interns is always bittersweet. We are always so proud to watch them grow and thrive in this work environment, and then take their experience back to school with them in the fall.

As the end of August approaches, the MMA Principals reflected on how remarkable our interns were this summer. Most years, our firm has been fortunate to hire student interns. Dan Mitchell summed up our firm’s philosophy well when he noted, “I’ve always felt it was our professional responsibility to engage students during the summer to help enrich their academic experience.” At Mackey Mitchell, we go to great lengths to make sure we provide a rich and diverse set of experiences to maximize the benefit to those who join us for that brief time. (And I’m always amazed that each year the time seems to pass a bit faster than the previous summer.) Historically, many of the interns we hire have never worked in an office before, and as such, our expectations for what they can contribute tend to be low.


Pictured from left: John Harlan, Ayman Rouhani and Maddie Farrer

Ayman Rouhani’s last day was Friday, August 11. Rouhani is returning to Washington University to finish up with a Master of Architecture degree. He describes his experience at Mackey Mitchell as impactful.

“Playing a role on two design teams (St. Louis County Library & Savannah College of Art and Design) allowed me to apply my skills in a variety of ways, from sketching out ideas during schematic design, rendering images to convey our design proposal to clients, to drawing and detailing construction documents. Being involved in multiple phases of these projects always kept me on my toes and had a tremendous impact on my development as a young architect,” said Rouhani.

Interns John Harlan and Maddie Farrer’s last day will be Friday, August 18. Harlan will be returning to the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign to begin graduate school toward receiving a Master of Architecture degree, bringing with him a wealth of different experiences that he received at Mackey Mitchell.

“I had an amazing time learning from everyone at MMA.  Everyone wanted to expose me to the great work that was going on in the office; whether it be a site visit, personal home tour, or an impromptu sketch and sit down at someone’s desk.  I will miss playing for MMA’s amazing softball team (not so amazing record, but we had a lot of fun!)”

Farrer heads back to Washington University in the fall for her junior year, feeling like part of the Mackey Mitchell family.

“I didn’t expect to feel like I’ve known the Mackey Mitchell family for years. Every person in the office is unique and design philosophy is diverse but the friendliness and open collaboration welcomes all ideas and characters. I’ve really felt like a part of the family while exploring St. Louis from a design perspective and getting to taste some of the most interesting food the city has to offer. Every pancake and personality has made this summer an incredible experience!”

This summer we were fortunate to have hired outstanding students who far exceeded our expectations. Rather than a lopsided relationship where they were the primary benefactors from our efforts in professional mentorship, Mackey Mitchell benefited significantly from the spirited and creative energy demonstrated by John, Maddie and Ayman. Each proved to be efficient with their time, hard-working, thoughtful and surprisingly self-directed with such little experience. They were also just fun to have around. We will certainly miss them once they all return to school. But, we wish them luck.