Karen Rodriguez is a senior at George Washington High School in Denver, and she is planning to pursue a degree in architectural technology. We met Karen through her inquiry on HDR’s website. She asked: “Can I visit the Denver office and learn more about the architecture field?”
How could we say no?
Raphael Chavez, architectural project coordinator in HDR’s Denver architecture office, helped coordinate her visit. The following is Karen’s firsthand account of her experience.
I started my day in the lobby. I observed the meeting room, and I watched people take down notes and step out for phone calls.
Then I walked around the office and watched a group of architects charrette about their ideas. I also sat down with Raphael, and he showed me what he is currently working on. Raphael was so nice, and he took the time to teach me about what school is like before you get your license. He was very helpful to explain the path to me, as well as the positive and negative aspects of the field.
In general, I learned the fundamentals of what a regular day is like. I also learned the benefits of when everyone works together. The best part about this experience was being able to learn what the architects are currently working on, and actually being behind the scenes of projects. I met more architects than I had hoped for, which was amazing.
A lot of people don't get to see what it's like at a firm until they have an internship or start working. Being able to have this extra knowledge is really helpful. I was happy to see that the architects at HDR don't only go to work to work. They all interact with each other and have fun. It’s nice to see that you can do what you like and also have fun around the people you work with.
I am planning to earn a bachelor’s degree in architecture, with future plans to become licensed. I would like to work for a firm as an architect, and I hope to be able to share my ideas with the world. After my visit, I was even more inspired to pursue this field. I have always pretty much known I would like to do something along these lines. However, after this visit I had the reassurance of knowing that it’s the right path for me.