Intern and recent graduate experience in the Americas FAQ

January 26, 2022

What is the typical hiring timeline and process for summer interns and graduating students in the Americas?

  • December: Applications open
  • Mid-January: Populous begins conducting interviews on a rolling basis. If Populous elects to move forward with your application, you will be contacted to schedule an interview
  • Early-March: Applications close in early March as spring recruiting events conclude, but some openings may close earlier if positions are filled
  • Mid- to late-May: Internship program starts
  • June: New grads start 

What does Populous look for in a potential hire?

Populous requests a resume, cover letter and URL to a digital portfolio from all applications. The firm is specifically seeking applicants with strong conceptual design and graphic design skills, as well as an interest in leadership opportunities. It’s important to us that all team members strive to collaborate and communicate effectively, so we’ll be looking for those skills as well. For applicants pursuing an architecture or design opportunity, we want to see a variety of software skills for visualization and documentation.

Also, we know firsthand that diverse perspectives are critical to solution-oriented and innovative design, so we want to know what is unique about you.

Do Populous offices collaborate nationally and globally?

Yes, Populous is global by design. With colleagues spanning four continents, collaboration is in the DNA of our design culture. We come together regularly to share ideas, connect on projects and inspire one another. The firm also comes together globally for various trainings, initiatives and reviews. Projects are not assigned solely based on office location. For example, nearly all projects in the Americas engage staff members from multiple offices within the Americas region.

Does Populous support licensure?

Yes, Populous actively encourages licensure, as it is important for numerous disciplines. The firm offers study materials — from digital subscriptions to books and flashcards — for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) and the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Hours are allotted for time off to study or take exams so that employees do not have to take PTO for these commitments. For ARE, Populous pays for each test to be taken twice. The firm covers professional memberships, such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) or the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). Populous also works with staff to help employees achieve their required experience hours for licensure.

How does Populous address sustainability both in their offices and in projects?

Populous has been committed to environmentally sustainable design since the formation of our practice, including Accor Stadium (1999), London Olympics (2012) and Climate Pledge Arena (2021). We believe that the future of venue design and events can be environmentally sustainable and we are committed to producing outcomes that are world-leading in reducing the impact on our environment with an end goal of regenerative and climate positive venues.

Populous has committed to designing more sustainable buildings by becoming signatories to Architects Declare Australia, Architects Declare UK and the AIA 2030 Commitment, and will continue to reformulate our workflows and educate our staff to ensure that the decisions we make are informed and help mitigate the realities of climate change.

Populous encourages employees to have credentials in sustainability programs like LEED and WELL and many current staff members have these credentials. Populous also conducts a large amount of internal research with collaborating consultants about how to make projects more sustainable outside of established programs — pushing the boundaries of what exists.

Additionally, Populous has a global group called EcoPOP, which is dedicated to incorporating practices of sustainability and climate justice more deeply into our culture. Through EcoPOP, Populous strives to lead on sustainable design and through sustainable practices within our offices.

How does Populous support the community?

Populous’ commitment to engaging with and advancing communities reaches beyond our offices.

Examples of this come in many forms:

  • Populous offers each employee paid time off to volunteer each year.
  • Populous employees regularly participate in events that improve our community in underserved areas. This includes employees volunteering as reading mentors to elementary school students, supporting STEM programming and organizing service days to help revitalize historic parts of communities.
  • Populous has partnered with and sponsored nonprofit organizations and helped coordinate community outreach efforts to support vulnerable populations. Recently, our staff engaged on a revitalization project in Kansas City, Missouri, called the Paseo Stairs. This project is focused on improving wellness and fitness resources in an underserved community. This inherently addresses the shortcomings of equity and inclusion. Populous staff volunteer their services of physical labor and their expertise in planning, design and overall project oversight.
  • Populous has provided scholarships to disadvantaged students pursuing degrees in architecture and interior architecture with the goal of increasing diversity within the profession and helping disadvantaged students.

How does Populous approach diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging?

At Populous, what draws us together is the shared passion of designing the places where people love to be together. All people. All around the globe.

Diversity in design is simply another way of saying design excellence. Populous approaches diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging as core elements of design — in both process and outcome — rather than factors for consideration. With our four core values of integrity, entrepreneurial creativity, excellence and enjoyment serving as our foundation, we are building a team that celebrates and strives for diversity, equity and inclusion in all facets of what we do. Populous is continuously focused the people who utilize the spaces we design and the communities around us.

Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within Populous is not a one-off activity — it is a cultural journey that involves every member of the team. Populous is committed to making deliberate efforts and to taking actionable steps toward identifying and attracting more diverse candidates for employment opportunities and career advancement. Populous concentrates on increasing representation with regard to gender, identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, age and disability, and actively confronts industry inequities through recruitment. Populous is a member of the President’s Circle of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and actively recruits from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). We also share job opportunities with other professional organizations representing women, the LGBTQ+ community and other minority-serving organizations.

How can I learn even more about Populous?

Populous visits several schools in person as part of campus recruiting and is partnered with various institutions to participate in virtual recruiting activities. Check with your school’s career services department to learn more. You can also email questions to careers@populous.com.

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