Graduating Grad School: Working While Completing My M. Arch

As I look forward to graduating on Friday, I've looked back on the past two years of my academic and professional career.

I have been working here at BVH for about 20 hours a week while pursuing my Master of Architecture degree at UNL. While it has been a lot of work, and there have been some stressful times, I think it has been an invaluable opportunity to experience both practice and academia at the same time. They have simultaneously helped me get more out of each one.

One of the great things about working while in school is that I have had the ability to learn the technical side of design. I have learned a lot of technical knowledge here at BVH, thanks to a lot of great mentors who have taught me a lot about how a building actually goes together. Because of this, I have been able to come to school with a competent knowledge of how buildings actually go together, allowing me to really spend my time in design studios exploring new possibilities and ways to look at design as opposed to spending my time on designing something that works. I have had the ability to learn the technical knowledge here at work and it has really helped me push the boundaries in school without feeling the need to spend my time learning the technical aspects.

Above: Diagram from my studio project this fall, where I focused on pushing the boundaries of what housing is in the United States, blurring the line between residential and urban lifestyles.

On the other side of things, going to school has helped me bring a creative mind to the work place. It can be easy to get caught up in the details of designing a building, dealing with clients and putting out detailed construction documents. School has helped me keep a fresh and exploratory mindset to the studio. Along with many others in the studio, we are trying to bring theory and practice together, in order to design to change the way spaces we create are used.

BVH has made a commitment to people, knowledge, and wonder, and those core beliefs are one of the main reasons I will continue working here after graduation. I want to continue to have the opportunity to learn and explore new possibilities in design. I’ll strive to merge those technical skills I’ve learned while working at BVH with the wonder and knowledge inspired by school to create designs that positively impact people.

I’ve had a great last two years, and I’m excited and ready for the future.


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