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Intern Reflections: Ella and Gabby

By: Ella Rohlinger and Gabby Nivar | May 2023

Hi I’m Ella! Currently, I’m a civil design intern but in a few short weeks (and once I cross the stage) I’ll join the UDP team full-time. I will have a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from NC State University. I’m a Charlotte native living in Raleigh full-time and have been interning with UDP for most of my senior year. So far, my experience with UDP has been pleasant. I appreciate the flexible work hours and chill working environment. I’m a morning person, so I like to start my days at UDP early and I am usually one of the first people in the office. I work on my tasks as people filter in, listening to my Spotify discover weekly or other music. The usual day consists of project work until lunch, then a stroll around downtown Raleigh if the weather is nice. The gym on our floor is awesome and a good place clear my mind after work. My favorite memory from my internship was playing white elephant at the holiday party, I am now the proud owner of a desk dumpster!

Throughout my time interning, I have been able to fine tune my CAD skills, learn various CAD tips and become more familiar with design requirements for various municipalities. Ebenezer Church Road was one of the first project teams I was put on and it will continue to hold a special place in my heart. I basically get to design a man cave; how many people can say that! Needless to say, I am excited to join the team as an official full-time member and can’t wait to see where I’ll go.

Purdue requires all Landscape Architecture students to complete a yearlong co-op experience at a firm of their choice and I decided to pack my bags to move to Charlotte for an internship at UDP. I was completely unsure about making the 647 mile move but after hearing all that UDP had to offer I knew I made the right choice. UDP has taught me so much about the land development process and about being a better, stronger designer. Being able to work with other landscape architects and civil engineers throughout various phases of a project has given me such an insight into what truly goes into designing amazing places. I even got to dabble into more engineering aspects such as amenity grading!

 One project I have enjoyed working on is Nathaniel Carr Senior Community. I specifically helped with the amenity design, which included some seating areas, two patio spaces, and the planting design. Part of my role was to create graphics of the site and amenity areas, and some precedent boards to showcase our ideas for plants and material. Another project I’ve enjoyed working on is Little Long Creek, which is a 175-acre single-family subdivision. This project has been exciting as I have been able to be a part of it from the beginning of the design development phase. Ellen and I worked on the amenity package for client approval and collaborated on the best layouts for various amenity areas based on connectivity studies we did.

 Although, the office outing at the White Water Center is my favorite memory from the past year! It’s always great to hang out with everyone outside the office walls. Being a part of the UDP team for this short time has been a lot of fun and a great learning experience. From spontaneous nerf battles, daily visits from the chocolate fairy, and wellness walk, UDP is certainly a truly unique place to be and I am fortunate to have been able to do my co-op here!