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Oklahoma State University

Internship in Haiti brings personal and professional growth

Wed, June 25, 2014

Malone (center) digging holes for soil density and percolation tests.An Oklahoma State University student was able to design a world of hope and add some solid work experience to his resume on a recent trip abroad thanks to his internship.

Michael Malone, an architecture design student from Tulsa, recently returned from a trip to Grande Goave, Haiti, where he helped design and construct a church, conference center, school and agricultural project for Haiti ARISE, a Haitian ministry.

"These trips are very beneficial to my professional growth," Malone said. "I worked closely with the structural engineers, civil engineers, electrical and mechanical engineers, along with the senior architect. Being able to sit all those professionals down and work with them in one room was outstanding." 

Malone took the trip as part of his internship at Engineering Ministries International (eMi) Canada in Calgary, Alberta. He worked with senior design architects and engineers while also assisting with the design, drawings and produced renderings. Malone will finish the design work for the Haiti ARISE project once the team completes its work on the more detailed elements of the design. 

The trip taught Malone valuable lessons that he would need to succeed as an architect. "This was an opportunity to teach me what questions need to be asked and to find out exactly what is needed in the project," explained Malone. "An architect designs based off our own style and desire, but what this taught me was finding the necessity and making that my desire."

Despite being on a business trip, Malone took well-deserved time off to mingle with locals. "My favorite aspect of the trip was playing soccer with some local boys. I got creamed," laughed Malone. "It was extremely fun."

"Haiti brought me a new understanding of what poverty is…it's a lack of hope. While the people of Grand Gove don't have much material wealth, after talking and working with them, I learned of their real wealth – hope." 

"I find myself completely blessed to be able to work for eMi Canada and Haiti ARISE," he said. "eMi Canada goes above and beyond to find those who want to utilize their skills to better the lives of others."


Story by Kim Hunter