By: Peer Career Coach Maira Zamir
Faiza started an undergrad Bachelor degree in architecture in her home country, Pakistan and transferred to the Illinois Institute of Technology a couple of years in. During this time she first worked at Jurassic Studio, mostly engaging in scripting and exploring fun geometric compositions. In the latter half of her education, she interned at Woodhouse Tinucci Architects, where she found some of the best mentors, learned valuable methods to explore design and got to dip her toes in an all-rounded experience of the field. Currently, Ms. Faiza works at Gensler as a Technical Designer. Before she transferred to the LA office last year, she was also an adjunct professor at IIT in the College of Architecture for a short period of time.
What is the greatest lesson you learned during your time as a student at IIT?
The project you have now will not be the last project you will ever do, don’t worry about implementing every single idea into one singular project.
Did you have an internship in your undergrad? If so, what advice do you have for people who will be interning or doing co-op in the future?
Be vocal, ask your professors and feel free to express exactly what you’re interested in at the time. You also do not have to use any style/interest as a uniform, you can vary your experiences.
What is one major thing you learned when you stepped into the professional world after graduating?
Learning, in your own field and others, shouldn’t stop with your degree. And if your firm doesn’t help you find resources to continue to ask questions, to grow, and to learn more – it’s probably a good time to say something.
How did you land your first job?
I stayed in touch with one of my reviewers for a project presentation and he later encouraged me to join his firm – where I am now.
What advice would you give to graduates of 2020?
Just because the times are unusual doesn’t mean you’re stranded. Please reach out to all your professors and colleagues for anything you need. As you step into the professional world, remember that you are the solution to someone’s problem, you’re the idea some team might need, you’re the asset a firm might be looking for. Walk with that empowerment and responsibility!