Hello! I am Candela from Argentina, graduated from Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata in 2013 with a master degree in Architecture. While being a student I started getting involved in “real life” architecture through internships and volunteer projects finding it fascinating. My approach to the american culture also started during this time through the Work and travel program, which was an amazing experience. As an architect I worked for firms in Buenos Aires and in team projects abroad in Europe.
Last year I started thinking about what I could be doing next to improve my career. My interest was focused on: expanding my horizons of knowledge, interacting with people from all over the world, learning from other cultures about different construction systems, as well as sharing my ideas. A colleague introduced me to Architect-US, where I met Patricia and her amazing team and found all the legal issues and procedures I knew nothing about, covered! With that solved, I started planning how to achieve my goal of moving to work to USA.
I wanted to find my own job, so, after preparing a cover letter and portfolio that took me forever, I was ready to send them all over USA. I sent lots of emails, to Architecture firms and answered advertisements through websites like Craigslist . I was happy to receive many emails back that led to Skype interviews, finally getting more than one job offer! Patricia was very supportive and key part of this: she called all my potential employers and explained the process, characteristics of the visa and realist time frames, so we could finally “seal the deal”. The company I will be working for, YCH Philadelphia, was very open and excited about having a J1 trainee for the first time. They collaborated through all the paperwork and were very patient with my starting date, they even helped me get an apartment!.
Here are some key words I would say are essential in order to succeed while looking for a job, that helped me:
*Flexibility: Not having a specific destination and being open to go to places you’ve never been to or heard about is key in this experience. Most employers I contacted really appreciated the fact that I was willing to move to their city just to work for them. Also, small companies are usually open to hire international interns/trainees, even though they never had one before.
*Determination: Sending as many job applications as possible, doing regular follow- ups after receiving an answer and after having Skype interviews, letting know the employers that you are really interested in working with them.
*Patience: Trusting the process and every step of it. Everything takes a lot of time (interviews, paperwork, site visit, filling documents, Embassy appointment, etc) , but it is definitely the correct way of doing it and totally worth it!
*Perseverance: Not giving up with negative feedback or not getting hired by the company you always wanted, this is just the beginning. It requires effort and keep doing it till the end, even if it’s hard, you will eventually succeed if you keep on trying.
Looking back, it was a long and hard process with ups and downs (as life itself), but with the support of Architect US I would definitely do it all over again!
The best is yet to come! 🙂