Are you a young professional or Architecture student who is graduating soon? Have you been considering working in the USA? Do you know where to start?
Our CEO Patricia Garcia was invited by Anna Martin Castillejos, the Head Teacher of Architecture, to connect with students from her Alma Mater, Polytechnic School of Madrid (ETSAM). Through her experience she provided insightful recommendations and information about career development, ranged from Portfolio development to CV improvements to the value that a work sample provides to decision makers at firms. Pati provided them with some incredibly valuable information that saved them time and pain. She also explained the Architect-US Program opportunities, as well as the J1 Visa Process.
Take full advantage of the Architect-US Job+J1 Visa Program to fulfill your career dream, learn what a strong resume, portfolio, work sample, and cover letter includes, find out about other participant’s stories and how they made it to the USA, as well as Pati’s story of course, and learn about scholarship opportunities and when is the best time to apply for work in the USA.
Pati started out highlighting that 37% of placed students by Architect-US are EX-ETSAM students! That is a very high rate to only be coming from one university. She goes on to emphasize that the Spanish Educational system provides real world knowledge and top notch architects, thats wh ETSAM students are hired so often.
With more than 200 partner companies, we have been able to gain diversified knowledge and experience in terms of both work visas and American professional culture. A key differences between smaller and larger firms is that small boutiques tend to ask for references first hand to check your credentials, but normally portfolio is the first document to be looked at.
Pati went on to mention that Architect-US is part of Arquias Scholarship expansion to the USA, which marks its first time reaching the USA. We are excited to facilitate this process for Diller Scofidio + Renfro and OMA.
As Pati proceeds through the lecture she begins to talk about the value of a cover letter. First off, what is a cover letter? A Personal statement? No, more like a real letter, where you explain who you are, your background and interests. Make it personalized! Make sure you do not get into salary and just present yourself and always research the company ahead of time and make sure you know your audience.
In terms of Resumes, Pati states that you should make sure it is quick and direct. Pitch yourself and your brand in a short and concise format. Keep it to one page if possible. Personalize the CV! You do not have to put down all of your work experience, strategize and select the experiences that make sense to show.
A work example is not the same as a portfolio, considering with only 5 mb it is very difficult to fit the document you would like to show, so you must reduce it. It is an exercise in selection and knowing your audience. It is a summary of your work and should be between 3-5 pages, just main projects. Think of it as a brief description of your portfolio.
Speaking of your portfolio, it should be between 10-20 pages, straight to the point, less is more. Make sure you use landscape, and it will give you more freedom and flexibility. Project data, more elaboration is better, but make sure you show what you contributed, what is your individual contribution?
Student’s Questions and Answers
Is it too early to start applying for job in the USA? I am 5 years into University, and I want to see what makes the most sense.
- Right now with new president, visas have resumed, but travel ban still in place, but should be lifted soon
- Apply whenever. Once registered you will be part of our database and you will have program advisor for you
Do I have to register my university diploma?
- No. Spain has an agreement with the USA that recognizes the university diplomas of architects and designers both ways.
- ETSAM already has the accreditation ready as well, but you will have to take the tests and licensing that all americans have to.
- Taking on the career challenge of working in another country and really pushing yourself will make your transition back or to your next opportunity easier and smoother
Find out more about her recommendations for those deciding between working at a large or small firm, her perspective on the future of the Architecture industry from the perspective of a Principal, and how she uses multi-disciplinary strategy and organization to succeed as a smaller firm in Los Angeles.
If you have any questions for her, please submit them below and we will respond ASAP! 👇👇👇👇