I am currently pursuing a joint degree (M. Arch and Master of Business Administration), and am very interested in the business development and leadership aspect of architecture. I am inspired by the impact the built environment has on all aspects of the world, and enjoy communicating complex design ideas to clients and non-designers so they are able to feel connected to and excited about their projects.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe for 4 weeks thanks to the Edward L. Ryerson Travelling Scholarship. While there, I visited architecture firms, other architecture schools, and explored the cities to experience so many things I had learned about in school (Feel free to visit my blog to see my journey!)
Additionally, I was generously selected as the recipient of the RATIO Scholarship in Architecture, and in addition was able to participate in a summer internship at RATIO Architects in Champaign. The firm (small, but mighty!) is an extremely fun place to work, and I worked on a wide variety of projects in the Champaign-Urbana area. One of my most exciting projects was helping create graphics for a proposed $150 million development for Downtown Champaign - if the project moves forward, it will completely transform the downtown area!
I feel that the ISoA does a great job preparing students for their careers in architecture. I took a very diverse group of classes that helped broaden my knowledge and give me a more holistic understanding of design. Taking classes outside of ISoA was key to preparing me as well!
If you could change one thing about your architecture education, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about my time at UIUC, it would be to experience more architecture in an academic setting. We have the opportunity to learn about so many famous designs, travelling to visit some of these works would have been icing on the cake. In Champaign, we are so close to many great cities (Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Miwaukee...the list can go on!)...I would like to take more time to visit these places!
What part of the country/world would you like to work once you graduate?
I currently do not have a specific plan of where I would like to work upon graduation. I think I would ultimately like to stay in the Midwest, but am willing to see where my path takes me!
What one piece of advice would you give to current freshman architecture student? What do you wish you knew that you know now?
Take advantage of every opportunity you get! The ISoA presents amazing opportunities for students (guest lectures, study abroad, etc.). Join student organizations, and be active in them. Take advantage of firm tours, guest lectures, and networking opportunities. Apply to scholarships, especially travel ones. Looking back, I missed many opportunities because I was "too busy" with studio and other classes. Manage your time, and spend at least 1-2 hours a week on other opportunities outside of class. You will never regret attending a lecture or networking event, but you will always regret missing one!
"It seems like common sense to say 'manage your time'...but seriously, manage your time!" - Rebecca Palmer
What one thing would you recommend that would improve the life of being a student in the school of architecture?
BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE!!! It seems like common sense to say "manage your time"...but seriously, manage your time! Schedule out all of the time you need study, and con't forget to schedule time for fun and relaxation. Take care of yourself!
One of the most important things I learned in Architecture School is knowing when to STOP designing and to move on to the next step. Nothing will ever be perfect, and mistakes are important in helping you grow as a designer. Also, do not sacrifice other classes for studio! Design studio is a vital part of Architecture School, but don't lose sight of other classes that are crucial to a holistic understanding of design.
Did you have a favorite professor from a previous semester? Who was it and why?
Oh, there are so many incredible professors! I would have to say that one of my favorite professors was Professor AnnaMarie Bliss. I had Professor Bliss for my Junior studio (second semester), and I learned so much from her about time management, the design process, and communicating design ideas. She was very dedicated to helping all of her students succeed; no matter how hectic her schedule was, she would always make time for a student that needed it. Although she is a Doctoral Candidate and not a full-time faculty member, she has brought so much to the School of Architecture in her time here, and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to be in her class!
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
If any students would ever like to reach out to me about any questions at all, I am always willing to help! Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.