Asked by Anonymous
Thank you! I’m glad that you were able to find my answers helpful. Do seek out a proper counselor for help as I’m sure they will be able to provide more valuable information and assistance to you. Just remember that your situation is never unique and countless other people have been or are as confused as you are now. The people who did succeed to move on are those who stayed positive and determined and disciplined.
My best wishes to you.
Asked by Anonymous
Finding an interest is different from finding a “talent”. Everyone can cultivate a talent if they work hard enough, its whether or not you have an interest in what you are working hard for thats the important question. Don’t “try” things aimlessly, be realistic with yourself about what you want to do, then work for it. Address your antisocial attitude if you are interested in customer service, study finance if you want to work with money. EARN SKILLS and don’t let failure be an indication of lack of talent, your lack of interest determines that. People who are masters at what they do get that good because they genuinely love it so much they can’t stop thinking about it, leaning and working is like play for them, even when it gets difficult. And when you spend day and night thinking and doing and playing with something you are bound to get good, sooner or later.
Isaac Newton was solitary, antisocial, and unpleasant as fuck, but while his school was closed due to the plague he obsessed over solving a wide rang of world mysteries that intrigued him, including light spectrums. Architect Tadao Ando never received formal education in architecture, he was a boxer. After his boxing career ended he traveled endlessly to educate himself from scratch on architecture and the city. Steve jobs dropped out of college 6 months in and for the next 18 months dropped in on creative classes that would eventually have huge influences on his Apple empire. Frank Gehry, who designed the Disney Concert Hall, was told he should drop out of architecture by his professor because he lacked talent. He went on to become a Pritzker Prize winning architect.
A $50,000 career is not realistic at all if there’s nothing you deem worthy of working hard for, and it shouldn’t be a way for you to choose careers anyway, nothing will last long if your only aspiration is a fixed income. Your problem is an easy fix, finding something to do isn’t hard, its sticking to it and mastering it thats difficult. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on it, feel frustrated, invest, and fail before you start to see some success, but as long as you enjoy doing what you are doing none of this will matter. No one expects you to be good starting out, skills and talent won’t just magically appear, it’ll come if you work for it long enough.
Be critical and rigorous and diciplined with yourself, but also have faith in your choices.
Asked by Anonymous
Well first might I venture to say that you are not specifically looking for a “career advisor”, but just useful guidance (in the form of a person) to help you make some important decisions? Career Advice can be obtained from a variety of different sources such as:
1) Previous professors / teachers / ex-employers / a mentor figure you’ve had in the past - essentially someone who understands you relatively well from having witnessed your strengths / weaknesses in an academic, professional, or personal setting. If there was someone you have respect for or someone whom you’ve developed a good relationship with, who happens to be involved in the field of work you are interested in (or at least could be knowledgeable of ), these people are the best place to start. If there’s something they don’t know, they will try to hook you up with better resources, or at least point you in the right direction, because they goddam care about you and genuinely want to help. The best thing is to ask someone who KNOWS you. It may be hard for a general college advisor to give you informed advice if they do not know what kind of person you are and the aspirations you have.
2) Industry professionals who are doing what you want to do / might want to do. I am assuming you are wondering about architecture. Many architectural principles or project architects in my city have signed up to be an available mentor for 1st and 2nd year students in my M.Arch program. To register as an intern architect with the AIBC, you are also required to have an licensed mentor from a recognized firm. All this is to say, go find an office you think you might be interested in, or an individual who is doing the kind of work that interests you, and ask if they can be your mentor, because many of them are prepared to give their time. At the very least they can give you a short interview or point you to someone who can dedicate some time to you. My last boss took in a curious friend of mine (a faint acquaintance at the time) so that my said friend can observe the creative process and product development stages of our office, because he gets how valuable these experiences can be (and I had played no part in setting that up, my boss genuinely wanted to teach).
3) Forums!! (again, assuming you are asking about architecture/design) Places like here or Archinect or many others can potentially be great resources for some honest opinions. Forums are filled with people who are either in the same boat as you or who have gone through the processes already, advice from these people are great because it is coming from EXPERIENCE. Though I would take caution and fact check everything, including what I’ve written, because many of us may be just as confused as you are, many of us are also finding our way and making it up as we go. Our advices are based on our experiences and situations, and everyone is different, no one is an expert. So, in a way it is correct that in the end you have to figure it out for yourself. Ask specific questions, and take only what makes sense to you.
4) Career / job centers. I have never gone down this avenue before and have never had the need to, because I feel like to previous 3 suggestions can do so much more for me. I believe you pay service fees to have a career center look over your credentials and skills and work with you to get you a job as quick as possible, but that’s not what you want (I believe). You want to know about education and a career trajectory, am I correct? If all else fails this is also an option, but I’m sure you’ll find much more satisfying answers elsewhere, for free.
LASTLY, before you visit any of the above resources, do TONS of research yourself! Like, an obsessively large amount of research. Loads. Organize them somehow, pull together your portfolio and cv, THEN go visit your resources. Do not waste time, ask specific questions like “what degree do I need in order to do this” or “will this program help me get a job in this field?” That’s the most effective way to get information that can help you with your decision. My career advisor from my Bachelors degree went way out of his way to help me first reach a decision, then reach my goal (ie coach me on my portfolio), but at no point did he say, “yeah you should just pick this”. I gave him some choices I’ve been considering, and described what my aspirations are, he told me what it may mean for me to go to different schools with different programs, what it may mean to be an Architect or a Landscape Architect or an Industrial Designer and so on, and how I might prepare myself to get there.
Career advising is like Morpheus’ red pill/blue pill, you are told where each decision may lead you, but you are still the one making that decision. And its more so the “HOW” not the “WHAT” they are assisting you with. You can try going back to that community college advisor you mentioned with specific questions like “What do I need to do in order to pursue a career in (fill in the blank).”Though a big thing to remember is that your advisor is not depending on you to save the world, they are volunteering their time (unless it’s a service you are paying for), so whatever they give you, they are essentially going out of their way to do so.
Hope somewhere in these jumble of words are some helpful tips for you. Good luck!
Asked by Anonymous
First off thanks for visiting this blog and for the question! Now prepare for a long-ass answer.
Unfortunately there’s no way to truly know until you’ve actually immersed yourself in the environment for a bit, either professionally or academically.
"Architecture" is an incredibly broad term, and really its by figuring out a)what the term means to you, and b) what do you want to do within the field of "architecture" — thats how you can get a sense of where your passion lies.
So, those are the objectives, below are some suggestions for how you can answer those questions.
1) Talk to a student representative/career advisor/program representative of the program that you are thinking of applying for. Each school is different and their values and approach to architectural training is different, but by understanding what kind of education you will be receiving is one of the quickest way to gage your personally compatibility with that program.
My career advisor from my bachelors degree was instrumental in helping me understand what it meant to pursue the M.Arch degree for that particular program I was looking at, in terms of general career trajectory and the possibilities it can offer me. He was also unaffiliated with recruitment but had gone through the same program, therefore his unbiased opinion was really helpful.
2) Approach a firm you really admire and ask if you can have a tour of their office/ shadow them (or better yet intern with them) in their work/ or have a quick interview about their body of work or office ethos. The working environment of architecture is incredibly different from the academic one, but both are equally important learning experiences. If you do decide to go into architecture, be prepared to do so much more than just designing buildings.
3) READ, AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! GO TO LECTURES! WATCH INTERVIEWS! SURF THE NET! By being extra curious about the world of architecture and extra aware of what the industry is like / job situation / ethics / theories, thats the only way one can make informed decisions. Be critical of what you read, ask questions at lectures, just be super involved, network, educate yourself about the profession. If you are truly passionate you’ll find that none of this will seem like a chore, you will genuinely want to know more. This blog that I have is just one way I continue to educate myself on the world of architecture/art/design. Although tumbler can easily be a passive way to collect “cool things”, it is also an incredible resources for new ideas and theories and news of the current state of architecture and the city.
Know that a good architectural education doesn’t necessary restrict you to a career as an architect. The nature of the profession itself requires one to think holistically about design, everything from big ideas down to the smallest detail (of, say, the joints of a cabinet door). So the biggest asset an architect has in the proverbial tool belt is his or her ability to think critically about systems and ideas, and being able to moderate these ideas in connection with the details of implementation. Simply put: MANAGEMENT SKILLS. So although it would be wise to only pursue architecture if you have strong aspirations to become an architect (because the road to get there is goddam hard and expensive), its ok if you find yourself drawn to different things upon graduation. The things you learn in architecture school really does prepare you for many different sorts of endeavors, because if anything, architecture teaches you how to think critically about the world you live in.
I don’t know whether you are looking at a bachelors or a masters , but the above applies to either circumstance and is totally achievable in 5 months. If you find that my ramblings have not helped you at all, or if you need more opinion, please visit Ryan Pano’s blog and ask for his advice. He is a good colleague of mine and gives great advice to students all the time, here he is on Dwell.
Ryan has incredible knowledge of the industry so you will be in good hands.
Hope you find your answer soon and good luck!