Why did you choose ISoA to study architecture?
My initial reasons for deciding to go to Illinois School of Architecture came from the rich history of architecture and the graduates that have come from the program. ISoA graduates make a global impact and the school is highly ranked around the world. My decision to go to the Illinois School of Architecture for graduate school stemmed from my exceptional experience as an undergraduate student at the Illinois School of Architecture. Having professors who truly want to see you succeed is key for a success in any program. I can honestly say that ISoA has faculty who will go out of their way to make sure that students succeed.
Are you glad that you did?
I am very glad that I chose the Illinois School of Architecture for my graduate studies. I toured Berkeley, University of Washington, U Penn, Columbia and the University of Michigan. I must say that none of these schools have the alumni connections that UIUC has. Only 12 schools have a joint MBA / M-ARCH program and UIUC is one of them. The Chicago studio really caught my eye and helped to draw me back to my alma for graduate studies. I know the value that this institution provides and I strongly believe that UIUC graduates are extremely well prepared. We can balance the rigorous coursework while also being able to carry a conversation with others. This is key to the business environment and likely why companies will hire students because they want the student who is not only smart but one they can also carry a conversation with.
"ISoA graduates make a global impact and the school is highly ranked around the world" - Logan Walker
Is there a particular area/topic of architecture that you’re interested in?
My passion for architecture stems from the impact that it can have on the built environment. In studio, I always look at the bigger picture that architecture has on a community. The core and shell of buildings will leave a lasting impact on the environment and everyone who interacts with them. This is a broader look at the urbanism aspects of development. Considering this, real estate development is what invigorates me. Building on my architecture foundation, I can bring unique insights to how people will interact with the built environment. This, to me, will enable me to make the key decisions that will leave a lasting impact on a community.
What did you do this past summer?
This past summer I worked at Project Management Advisors, PMA, in Chicago as an Intern Project Manager. I was able to grow in my knowledge of the built environment and how developments are managed. PMA are the owner’s representative for development projects. For instance, I drafted and sent out AIA contracts to contractors, searched and recommended architects for projects, and sent out RFPs for engineering firm material testing. I was on a construction site almost every day and coordinating projects with owners and contractors.
Do you feel like ISoA is preparing you for a career in architecture?
I definitely feel that the Illinois School of Architecture is preparing me for success in my future aspirations. There is such a depth of knowledge being gained in how to create active and engaging environments. I strongly believe that I will be well prepared at graduation to make a real impact on the built environment.
"My decision to go to the Illinois School of Architecture for graduate school stemmed from my exceptional experience as an undergraduate student at the Illinois School of Architecture" - Logan Walker
If you could change one thing about your architecture education, what would it be?
I think that the most valuable experiences that I have gained as an architecture student thus far have been the hands-on activities. As architecture students, we are visual people. I have been able to participate in day-long mentorships where I can see first-hand the work that I aspire to do. I could see the program encouraging more students to partake in case competitions and having an action learning environment to enhance connections with industry leaders while also balancing this with classroom learning.
What part of the country/world would you like to work once you graduate?
For now, I am open to multiple possibilities of where I would like to work. What I do know is that I want to make an impact. I want to have ownership in where I work and own the buildings that I create. Ideally, I want to have a global impact on the built environment and to be working on the complex mix-use developments. For this, I see myself in the NYC and or Chicago market where I will be able to work on projects around the world.
What one piece of advice would you give to current freshman architecture student? What do you wish you knew that you know now?
If you are going to be somewhere, be there. I would say that this is one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to an incoming student. If you are unsure, try it! You will not be sorry for putting in more effort and chances are that it will only increase your interests!
What one thing would you recommend that would improve the life of being a student in the school of architecture?
I would have to say that I would love to see more professors who encourage students to be engaged in extracurricular activities and networking opportunities. I know that most professors do encourage this, however, they are not as flexible with students to be able to attend these events. I think it builds unity in the program and increases chances for students to jumpstart their paths after architecture school.
Did you have a favorite professor from a previous semester? Who was it and why?
It is hard to say who my FAVORITE professor is… The professors that I have gained the most from in my architecture studios have been Professor Hinders, and Professor Murray. I love the knowledge of architecture that I gained with Professor Hinders. Each day I felt like I was learning something new that I could apply to my future. Professor Murray really lets students own their projects and experiment with whatever they are passionate about. He is such a huge advocate of letting students learn what they want while also keeping you on track to have an amazing project. Finally, Professor Burns probably was my favorite professor. I would always be excited to go to class and could not wait to hear what we would cover in class. Her modern architecture class really hits on my aspirations to know how the built environment came to be. I love reflecting on how the built environment was shaped and why. She covers this all in the Modern American architecture class in how cities were formed!
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I am a dual Master of Business Administration, Master of Architecture student. I have been actively involved on campus. I am currently the President of the Society of Business Management in Architecture (SBMA), and the Vice President of Outreach for Rho Epsilon the student Real Estate Development Program. I was previously the American Institute of Architects, AIA, Illinois Student Director where I communicated with each AIAS chapter across the state. I was the AIAS President, Vice President, Treasurer and helped coordinate and lead trips to NYC, Chicago, and Boston. I have been active in the Student Senate where I was the Student Representative for the College of Fine and Applied Arts for the past two years. Finally, I have competed and won a $10,000 case competition for CoreNet Global, a corporate real estate organization, in Philadelphia last year.