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Student perspective: Preceptorship program

February 15, 2018

Photo: Wiki Commons/William Warby

Tulane School of Architecture student Ethan Shaw is spending a year in New York City interning with Ennead Architects as school’s first preceptorship participant. This program allows students to spend a year working in a firm between their fourth and fifth years of study.

Shaw discusses his experience so far below.

Why did you decide to do a preceptorship?

There is a cycle that I think has been critical to my education of taking skills and concepts I learn at Tulane and putting them to use as a summer intern, and then taking the professional knowledge of practicing architecture and better understanding what I need to focus on as student the following year. After four years of school however, I began to start to feel that the balance of that cycle was off. The more I worked at an office the more meaningful returning to the academic portion becomes.

Where are you working? What are you doing there?

I am working at Ennead Architects and am currently on a project in Shanghai – most of my time is allocated to developing the building envelope which has included façade design studies, visualizations and technical drawings.

What has been your favorite part of the experience?

Working with an actual client, rather than a hypothetical proposal.

Did this help you clarify your career or educational goals?

Yes, I have learned a lot about what I enjoy doing, how to contribute to a large team, and what kinds of projects I do and don’t want to work on in the future. In terms of educational goals, I have a clear sense of the technology that is most helpful to learn that may not be taught through courses at school.

What is it like living in NYC?

I grew up here so it’s nice to be back, even if it is just for a year. Working in an office that has ongoing projects in Manhattan has added to the experience when we are able to tour the projects under construction.

For more information on preceptorship opportunities for the fall 2018 semester, contact Career Development Director Megan Weyland (