Last Thursday I went back to school with freshman students enrolled in ARCH 1112 - Intro to Arch. Yes, you read that right. They sent me all the way back to freshman orientation! This time however, I presented myself as an OSU Alumnus working in the professional ARCH/AE community. At first I thought to myself, what could I possibly have to offer will only 2.33 years of practice? Am I qualified to do this?
I started reviewing my experiences as Wallace Engineering. I was really surprised to find out I have worked on almost 170 different projects since I joined Wallace in June 2012. That is almost 73 projects/year! Even though most of them had relatively small scopes, or I was part of a larger team, that is a lot of projects! I have worked on all aspects of design projects: schematic design, design development, construction documents, construction administration, construction observations, and special inspections. That is a lot to learn in a short amount of time. Out of college there was a lot of ground to cover, and there is still more to study before licensure exams. Wallace has provided invaluable resources and experiences helping me develop as an EIT. For that I am very grateful. OK, so maybe I did have some good experiences to share.
Upon arrival to the School of Architecture, I instantly recognized a familiar face. My good friend Taylor, an OSU grad student in Aerospace Engineering, whom I first met at an OSU engineering summer camp (REACH) in 2006 was visiting his brother Austin, a current Architecture undergrad. I could not believe that after 8 years we would still run into each other on campus! It really made me think of how quickly my time at OSU passed by!
After catching up with Taylor and Austin, I made my way through the ARCH building to visit with AE professors Carisa and John. I owe my success to them and many of my OSU professors for challenging me. All the professors in the OSU School of Architecture are truly outstanding. After visiting their offices, I journeyed around the studio spaces. There is always exceptional level of creativity here. Out of college, I have developed a critical eye for efficiency, constructability, and simplicity, but I forget to exercise my creativity. It was incredibly refreshing to see these young designers really pushing the limits of Architecture. I also became a little nostalgic about my own days in design studios. There are a lot of great friendships and memories there.
Soon after, I welcomed my freshman orientation students. With the understanding that most of these students were discerning their majors, I tried to engage them and encourage them to find their calling in life. Architecture and Architectural Engineering are great, but so are many other fields. The professional field is very demanding but also very rewarding. I shared a few of my experiences in the professional world there seemed to be more questions about my experiences in college. I think I enjoyed sharing those stories even more. It gave me a chance to relive some of the best parts of college life.
And I did exactly that when I visited my old roommates Brian, James, and Paul. I finally got a chance to "get the band back together" and play some great music. Even though we are not the most talented group of musicians out there, when I play with the "Satalite Lazorz" (look them up) I really feel that I can communicate myself emotionally through music. That is something, that I have not been able to fully experience when I play solo. The band, and the group of friends centered around the band, along with the studio community are probably the aspects of college life that I miss the most. It was awesome to rekindle my spirit of creativity and enthusiasm as a student.
I hope the freshman students find their passions in life. If they choose to continue in the school of Architecture, I hope they learn to love the enriching environment. It was an honor to visit my Alma Mater, and I can't wait to go back again soon!