Meredith Charlton is a student at Blue Ridge Community College. She is the latest student to job shadow in our Harrisonburg office. This experience is a chance to see the profession to get a better sense of daily life in an architectural firm. We have hosted more than a dozen students in the office over the last 10 years, some have continued on into architecture and some have taken other paths. It is a wonderful experience for us to see these young people explore career options.
Guest post by Meredith Charlton:
As a college student, you are given many opportunities to explore career options if you take the risk to do so. Attending Blue Ridge Community College I was able to meet the College President, Dr. John Downey, and talk with him about my career. He was kind to listen to my struggle with finding the right career path and when I mentioned architecture he immediately thought to connect me with Gaines Group Architects. That is one of the great things about going to a community college, you get to make real connections with your professors and even the President of the College. I reached out to Charles with Gaines Group Architects to ask about job shadow opportunities at his firm. I was a little nervous meeting with Charles the first time but was welcomed into the office to talk about my goals. Charles and I set a job shadow schedule that would allow me to balance my school work, job, and spending time in his office to see what really happens in architecture. Shadowing at the firm has allowed me to see different areas of the profession and it helped me find my calling. I am grateful for the opportunity to shadow and very grateful to Dr. Downey for taking the time to help me find the right connections. I encourage others to take the time to explore career options, talk to professionals that are doing what you think you will love, and find the right path for yourself. If you are interested in architecture, I suggest you job shadow with Gaines Group Architects to see the design process in action, learn a 3D modeling software, and hear from a variety of people how their path led them to their current positions.
Other Job Shadow blog posts here:
Learn how job shadowing informs career path
High School students should job shadow
A story of job shadowing during a pandemic
Why you should job shadow while still in high school
Architectural Mentoring during a pandemic
A story of mentoring in Architecture