Why did you choose ISoA to study architecture?
Like most other international students, I considered the programs of many schools of architecture all over the USA/UK. I chose to study at ISoA because it was one of the few schools that offered such a flexible program. I had the liberty to choose my area of specialization. It was an obvious choice also because the U of I is very well-ranked in the country.
"I chose to study at ISoA because it was one of the few schools that offered such a flexible program. I had the liberty to choose my area of specialization. It was an obvious choice also because the U of I is very well-ranked in the country" - Meghna Majethiya
Are you glad that you did? Why/why not?
ISoA has given me a lot, and I am really glad that I made the decision to study here. I’ve had the chance to learn from some amazing faculty members here at ISoA and interact with professionals from various firms. The student population here at the U of I is really diverse and there is a lot that I have learnt just from working in teams. I have also made some really close friends here, which has added even more to the whole experience. We also have a beautiful and safe campus.
Is there a particular area/topic of architecture that you’re interested in?
I steered my Master’s program towards building performance. I wasn’t exposed to this area of study during my undergraduate program in India, but studying about energy efficient buildings has really spiked my interest. I am currently doing an independent study with Professor Scott Murray that is based on analyzing and designing energy efficient façades in the Indian context.
"I have also made some really close friends here, which has added even more to the whole experience. We also have a beautiful and safe campus" - Meghna Majethiya
What did you do this past summer?
I visited my family in India for a few weeks. I came back to campus and continued my job at the Illini Union, where I work on a BIM model of the Illini Union and any ongoing renovations/repairs. I wanted to make the most of the summer, so I did things that I usually don’t get to do during the school year—I attended some ballroom dance sessions and travelled around the country. I went on a road trip to Pennsylvania to see Fallingwater!
"I definitely think that ISoA is preparing me for a career in architecture. We have had many lectures from famous architects from across the globe, and we have also had professionals as reviewers for our studio projects" - Meghna Majethiya
Do you feel like ISoA is preparing you for a career in architecture?
I definitely think that ISoA is preparing me for a career in architecture. We have had many lectures from famous architects from across the globe, and we have also had professionals as reviewers for our studio projects. This opportunity to interact and discuss our projects with professionals has been of great value to me and others. Everything that I am learning, especially in my building performance courses, I think is very relevant and it is helping me keep up with the current practices in the industry.
If you could change one thing about your architecture education, what would it be?
I wish we could have some trips within the country to see famous structures. We have studied and read about so many great works of architecture, but as an international student I haven’t had the opportunity to visit most of them in person. Travelling to see and explore architecture is a whole new experience altogether!
What part of the country/world would you like to work once you graduate?
Once I graduate, I would like to get some work experience in this country. However, I want to eventually go back to India and establish a career there.
What one piece of advice would you give to current freshman architecture student? What do you wish you knew that you know now?
The only thing I would tell a freshman would be that a career in architecture is a rocky climb but anything is possible with hard work and perseverance.
What one thing would you recommend that would improve the life of being a student in the school of architecture?
I think time management is important for students of architecture. This helps maintain a work-life balance, which is something that I think most of us fail to achieve.
"I have had some really good professors here at ISoA, but if I had to pick a favorite, I’d say Prof. Scott Murray" - Meghna Majethiya
Did you have a favorite professor from a previous semester? Who was it and why?
I have had some really good professors here at ISoA, but if I had to pick a favorite, I’d say Prof. Scott Murray. He was my studio professor last semester. I also took his seminar “Experimental Envelopes” last spring and I’m currently doing an independent study with him. He guided us really well last semester with our project. He is very knowledgeable especially about building performance and envelope design. He is also meticulous and encouraging. I have learned a great deal from him.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I have had a really great year at ISoA. I am a member of the Gargoyle Architecture Honor Society. My studio partner, Wei Lin, and I also won the ASCA AISC Steel design competition (3rd place) for our project last semester! As a future alum, I hope I will be able to give back to ISoA as much as it has given me.