February 14, 2019
Eighteen months ago, I graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and I am currently working on a Master’s in Civil Engineering, with a concentration in Construction Management. While finishing my bachelor’s, NJIT’s Career Fair helped me to find my current job with Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners.
When I was 10 years old, I thought I wanted to be a neurosurgeon when I grew up but, in middle school, I was introduced to technology electives that steered me away from science and into another direction. Even at a young age, I’ve always had some love for architecture. I would spend time sketching my dream house while sitting on my back porch, this is when my Mom suggested architecture. It was at Livingston High School where the foundation was really laid and I started to get a taste for the field. From hand drafting in the 9th grade to creating designs in Revit by the 11th grade. College helped me to narrow down what field of architecture I wanted to pursue.
Before college, I was adamant that I wanted to design single-family residential. Five years at NJIT opened me up to the different fields of architecture from coastal designs and multi-family residential, to high-rises and large-scale urban planning. I came out of college with a desire to pursue multi-family residential and urban planning.
At Minno and Wasko, I mostly work on multi-family residential. My current project “Vermella Union” is a 415-unit, featuring studios to 3-bedroom developments in Union New Jersey, it’s the old Merck Pharmaceutical site right across the street from Kean University. At 349,000 sq. ft, Vermella Union is one of my firms larger projects that will consist of a 4-story wood frame construction type and also has a connecting 27,000 sq. ft clubhouse.
Vermella Union is the first project I’ve worked on from beginning to end and has allowed me to see the inner workings on how a building goes from being a rendering to something people will eventually live in. I have had the opportunity to work on many aspects of this project, and my Project Manager has included me every step of the way.
During the fourteen months I worked on Vermella Union I’ve had a great Project Manager that has taught me a lot. From detailing, to reading MEP/structure drawings, to CA submittals. These teachings will guide me as my career progresses.
Since entering the profession, I have felt very welcomed, and Minno & Wasko plays a big role in that.
Minno and Wasko is such a great place to work, because everyone in the firm is a team player. Someone is always willing to help if you need it and, they are commented to shaping the next generation of architects. Not too many people can say they love their job, but I love mine and the best type of job is one that doesn’t feel like work.
As an undergrad I was a member of AIAS and pursued AIA membership right away, becoming an Associate member of Newark and Suburban. I am working on completing my AXP requirements and aspire to become a licensed architect here at my firm.
This field is ever evolving, and everyone at every level has something to learn. Whether it’s new software, new materials, new environmental or resilient design methods, we are all learning and changing and growing alongside one another and that’s what makes architecture so unique.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in AIA Newark and Suburban, Architecture in NJ, Architecture Students, Diversity, Emerging Professionals, EquityInArchitecture, IDP / ARE, Women in Architecture, Young Architects Forum | Tagged: #AIANJ, #AssociateAIA, #BlackHistoryMonth, #BlackHistoryShowcase, #diversity, #equity, #Inclusion, #KeanUniversity, #Minno&Wasko, #TaylorEverettAssociateAIA, #VermellaUnion, AIA, NJIT | Comments (0)
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