PRP Now! Kabir Karnani // Rogers Partners

November 6, 2019
PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks.

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I am working at Rogers Partners located in TriBeCa, NYC. It's a mid-sized firm with about 30 people in the city and a handful of people in their Houston office. 

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
I have always been drawn to NYC, there's so much vibrancy in the people, food, culture, and especially in the design world. Now that I've been here for 5 months, I can definitely see myself living here for a good majority of my life. Every weekend feels like a mini-vacation, waking up and having a world of options on what to explore. The routine aspect of work is a given, but having the ability to walk through such a dynamic city everyday makes it all worthwhile. There's definitely a "come as you are" attitude with new-yorkers, which brings out the best energy in people. I am constantly inspired by those around me, and beginning my professional career in such an environment I feel is so important. There's definitely a stereo-type or stigma that NYC is a dog-eat-dog world type of place, but I feel that the urgency of this bustling scene brings forth efficiency and prepares you for anything the world throws at you. I could go on for pages about the city, but the point is, there's no place like it. 

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
I am currently working on an office building development in SoHo, we are in the design development phase. My team is just an associate partner, a partner, and me which allows a broad reach of responsibility. This project started at the beginning of my internship in June, and I've been able to work on it since preliminary design. In our current phase we are looking at facade development and different ways we can make a more dynamic facade with the layering of materials, colors, etc. I am also helping with a project in Korea, building models and doing renderings for it. 

PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
It's not hard to get to know everyone in the office since it is a smaller setting. I have lunch with my colleagues often, and take the time to get to know them. Everyone here is very focused on meeting deadlines, of course, but can relax when the time is right. Every friday we have happy hour in the office, which is always nice, and every first friday of the month we have a "family lunch," where we coordinate some catering or everyone just enjoys a lunch break together. Recently I took part in the annual "Pumpkitecture" competition with two co-workers from the office, that was a fun out-of-office activity. I've attended some "Archtober" events with colleagues, which are a series of AIA events that take place all over the city during the month of October. I've gotten to see some really interesting architecture studios and get some new perspectives on the field through conversation. 

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
I think I've expressed my love for NYC, but I would probably still plug the city and try to convince all my friends to move here with me. Stay focused on your long-term career goals and don't work for the sake of working. If you can figure out what you'd like to do, or where you'd like to be in the future, even vaguely, try to work towards that. 

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
I'm taking a day-trip to D.C. to see some family and friends. When I get back on Sunday I'll go explore the East Village with my girlfriend, who also lives in NYC. 

PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
PRP is the perfect time to get a real taste of the working world, while still in school. A six month internship is a great amount of time to feel integrated at a firm. Don't pass up the opportunity!