Alec Cepe: My Experience as an Architectural Acoustics Intern.

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I’m Alec Cepe, a 3rd Year Singapore Polytechnic student currently enrolled in the Diploma of Music & Audio Technology and I took a chance in using my opportunity to learn something new and distinct in Soundzipper. For the past 5 months from March to August, It has been a fruitful and eye-opening experience being an Architectural Acoustics Intern here at Soundzipper from March to August. Let alone being one during a pandemic. Not only did I experience the niche field of architectural acoustics in the technical and business aspects, but also met some very flexible and hard-working group of people.

Alec Cepe

Backseat into the Rooms

Throughout the internship, I had many opportunities being in actual project construction sites, acoustic tests and sales meetings. I actively connected the dots of how not only consultancy businesses work within the context of architectural acoustics design. Soundzipper’s unique process of combining music, sound design, recording and studio interior design into the design requirements for architectural acoustics of the external and interior environment, the common frequency spectrum and other elements in designing a room was really intriguing to see as the combination of audio and design at work is typically unusual to see in Singapore at my age.

Knowing the context of creating studio-grade rooms, noise-insulating booths, luscious sounding mixing studios and high end listening rooms were some of the many sub-types of rooms where music & audio technology coincided with the architectural acoustics industry. Working autonomously in Soundzipper was a very freeing experience and helped me to grasp many important work skills such as initiative, communication, people-skills, emotional intelligence, flexibility, adaptability and task management.

Being the Front and Center of it All

I remembered halfway through the internship, I was at the point where I was basically familiar with the terms and communication styles that the company was speaking, particularly with the acoustic terms, project names and brands in acoustics. I was, most of the time, placed between my Supervisor’s Architectural Acoustics Role and my colleagues’ Project Management role where I had to give clarifications and coordinate information on both sides to smoothen the overall communication process. It really was a critical point for me to understand my own work style. I had to juggle the roles where I did minor drawing adjustments or design work while practicing openly communicating with my colleagues in a way to tailor the work to fit within my own strengths and weaknesses.

I had also spent a good portion of the internship to focus on the pacing and overall productivity of work as I am still a little slow generally, to further improve the company’s productivity and timeliness. The internship really showed me the importance of communication no matter the nature of workplace or colleagues you meet, or the amount of work you needed to accomplish. A consistent relationship of communication between my supervisor by asking things, or setting up meetings weekly to get clarifications on the several different drawing types we do and project information really let each of us understand our point of views. I’ve realised communication doesn’t mean talking more or doing more things, but to take more accountability and vocalising what I was actually going through during the tasks with my colleagues to better understand each other’s point of view. I managed to dive deeper into working on my communication skills and developing responsibility for the tasks I do even though I was just an intern.

All in all, being an architectural acoustics intern at Soundzipper has really given me an appreciation for the process of constructing a liveable space to relax, listen, and be comfortable in. It has ultimately inspired me to make my life sound better.

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