Career development is a great focus of the Gaines Group in helping students become architects. Alex Alvarez is a future leader in the construction industry. He attends Blue Ridge Community College and is on a path to apply for admission to the Virginia Tech Building Construction Program. I asked him to write a blog post to talk about his experience job shadowing in our office. Here is his career development story:
After completing my first year at Blue Ridge Community College I was fortunate enough to discover the Gaines Group Architects and be given the opportunity to be mentored in the office by Charles. I chose to go to community college for three reasons:
- How close it is to home
- Small class sizes.
I would like to transfer to Virginia Tech’s building construction program and do architecture in grad school. Virginia Tech is a good option for me because it is a big school but still has small class sizes. Also has a great community environment and is more affordable than other similar universities.
The first day I went into the office Charles challenged me to build a garage in AutoCAD and model it as well. After that small project, David Martin, another student in the office from Virginia Tech and I worked on a house for an empty lot David had next to his house. Throughout the project David and I bounced ideas off each other and worked through problems in each other’s plans together. Also we had Charles there to help and guide us. I am currently working on a barn for my dad and Charles continues to be a great help in the design process.
Before the Gaines Group Architects all I knew where my hand sketches and physical models, now after around seven months being mentored by Charles and others in the office I know AutoCAD, Sketchup, renderings, detail sections, Photoshop, and many more skills. Charles continues to not only be a great mentor but a great role model for me. I am very fortunate to be mentored by him and I encourage anyone interested in architecture or a related field to seek out a mentorship.