From College To Career


Everyone experiences post-college life in their own unique way. Some go straight into the work force, others take breaks, while others continue their educational career. The list of directions people take goes on and on.

I had the pleasure to intern with JL Architects for a full year before transitioning into a full-time architectural designer post-graduation position. During my time working and attending my last year of college simultaneously, I had already begun to realize how my schoolwork was being influenced by the things I had learned while working. In appreciation for how much I had learned in such a short amount of time, joining the team full-time came as an easy decision.

Before I began working within this profession, I always wondered what specific traits and skills I would take and apply in the professional real-world. Architecture school teaches how to communicate architecture in many different forms. At JL, communication is one of many valued principles. I’ve learned how important it is to ask questions, be unafraid to ask for clarification as many times as needed, and the importance of communicating about areas in which I am confident, or those that I need some more work in.

School also teaches how to interpret work using several methods and mediums and just barely begins to scratch the surface on how construction happens realistically. Before exiting college, I set a personal goal to have a better understanding of the forms I will be expected to translate into graphics. I believe the best way that happens is through section details (one of the things many of my professors always said explains your design the strongest). I’ve already had the opportunity to test my knowledge with guidance at JL. I’ve been able to work with and study these forms of communication closely, as well as create some of my own.

All in all, I am applying my academic education in the professional world, and JL has been an extremely advantageous work environment, where I expect to progress in my career very quickly.

-Nicole Gonzalez-Cruz, Architectural Designer