To design community is to experience the creativity that gracefully complements nature’s education. A foundation built out of lessons unique to every project and gems of legacy-building discovered in the cultivating exchange that takes place when a mentor’s roots pass the baton of penmanship to the next creative. A young mind holds valuable insight into the future solutions that inspire community growth and health, while a great mentor can unlock the potential of that creative’s passion onto the canvas that nature presents. No mere butterfly effect but the next dreamer’s experience of creating community and influencing the course of design. At AndersonBaron, we present a special place where inspired community design lives forever because the investment into the next generation of landscape architects is worth the search into their dreams. This is AB NextGEN.
Introducing Zhuyi Yue, who goes by the name of Mary. She is a talented creative and inspiring landscape architect pursuing her Master of Landscape Architecture degree at Arizona State University. Mary is also an avid writer and reader outside of work, and loves exploring the great Sonoran Desert landscape with friends. AB NextGEN sat down with Mary to discuss her intern experience at AndersonBaron:
What are you most passionate about when it comes to design and community?
Mary: I have a strong passion for landscape design because I believe design can impact people’s behavior in a positive and healthy way; especially when the balance of creativity and sustainability beautifully comes together in a unique community design influence by environmental, biological, cultural, and individual factors.
What have you enjoyed most about your experience here at AndersonBaron?
Mary: I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of professionals, even from some that have been on the same journey as me. They’re receptive to all my questions and that knowledge has contributed immensely to the real-time application of my experience.
What’s been the biggest difference in education from being in the professional setting versus the classroom?
Mary: The two most important things I have learned from AndersonBaron are how to think about things more comprehensively and be more flexible. In school, you don’t need to think about money, city, or any governing bodies like you do in the dynamics of community design and services that contributes to our signature client experience. Several elements are unique to each project such as city zones, hardscape/landscape standards, character theming, and community aspirations.
Next semester is approaching, so what are the tools you’ve learned here that will contribute to you having a successful academic year?
Mary: Seeing my communication skills evolve for sure because it’s a pretty busy work environment. As a creative, learning how to ask precise questions that gives greater insight into understanding my perspective makes it easer for that solution-based communication to take place that’s effective to progress. I would also say the exchangeability between AutoCAD and Photoshop and how they go hand-n-hand in design.
Outside of the work, what have you enjoyed most about the culture of AndersonBaron?
Mary: The inclusion and overwhelming support of being valued as an asset to the team have made my intern experience so enjoyable. I really appreciate the comradery and sense of family. For example, I have never played dodgeball before. I didn’t know what to expect from our annual classic teambuilding event, but it turned out to be so much fun even with the friendly competitive juices flowing. After the games, I got the chance to get know some of my fellow peers better at the company happy hour. The whole experience made me feel so warm and comfortable during work and outside of the office. Even though I am intern here, everyone treats me like a family member.
Lastly, what advice would you give the next intern preparing to work here?
Mary: I will probably say be more patient at the beginning and ask yourself what you really want to learn from the experience. Each project offers a plethora of opportunity to gain great knowledge and growth. Don’t be afraid to ask people questions because that’s what interns should do, and sky’s the limit in a work environment that embodies the motto of creating community.