In the beginning of the interview Daniele Lo Presti talks about how he started off learning about Engineering at University of Palermo, but after the first year he realized that Architecture was what he wanted to do instead. After finishing his Undergraduate in Architecture, he wanted to experience more of the Design side of studies, so he moved to Milan to start studying his Masters in Interior Design at the University of Milan.
Daniele started working as an Intern at Progetto CMR in Milan, which was a huge leg up for Daniele to be able to make the move in his career towards Design and away from Architecture or Engineering. During the Internship, he was able to gain a better sense of what he wanted. He was also able to practice Revit and Rhino during his internship, which allowed for him to become a more valuable asset for firms, especially those in the USA. Daniele claims that every architect or designer should learn Revit if they want to work in the USA, and it is a skill that you can gain while you are working or not.
After he finished his time in Milan, he moved to the USA! Part of the reason why he wanted to make the move to the USA is because he thought that Los Angeles is a cool city to be part of. Sometimes the right answer is the simplest in his eyes. He wanted to live the American Dream in Los Angeles. In order to make the most of the one month he was in Los Angeles, he created various plans and prepared.
First step, was to understand the city you are going to, and how it works! Daniele tried to research ahead of time, where all of the offices are located, which areas of the city to avoid, and what are the best ways to move around. You should understand how big the city is, as you will have to get from meeting to meeting.
Second step, recognize how much time you will need for each firm you are applying to, and understand how many open positions there currently are, as well as the firms that you truly want to join, even if there is no current opening.
Third step, understand how to explain your situation and how the visa process can take much less time than they think it normally takes. Many of the firms, do not understand how the visa process works, so you must be prepared with this information ready to dispel misconceptions.
Fourth step, you have to consider how long it takes for a firm to send out a job offer and a job contract. In some cases, they can take two weeks to get you the contract, so this can leave you in a precarious situation.
Fifth step, prepare yourself for taking on new challenges and different jobs that maybe you might not have anticipated. For example, Daniele started with Engineering but ended up doing Revit design for Construction documents, which is not exactly the same as Interior Design.
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