Chapter 1: “How it all Started”

It all started in December when I went to visit my father in Mexico. I was touring El Castillo de Chapultepec with some architect friends while studying abroad in Germany when one of my friends told me, “Have you heard about Yaiza? She’s working in New York.” The first thing I thought was “That’s amazing!” I was very surprised as I had previously and mistakenly thought that only people in high positions could move to the US and work. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

I am a Colombian Architect who graduated from the National University of Colombia in 2020. Only 1 of my friends had previously emigrated to the US to work because she already had permanent residency. I used to think one could only immigrate to the US once one “became an important and recognized Architect in the industry.” That’s why I was surprised at how “easy” I heard the process was for Yaiza. The next few days I contacted Yaiza and she told me all about Architect US. I began reading how fast the process would be. I immidietly joined the Architect US Community.

Personally I did not have enough money to pay for the JOB +J1 VISA Program. However, in a Zoom Meeting, Patricia, the CEO of Architect US, told us “don’t worry, you guys can always search on your own and we would be more than happy to help you guys out with the paper work.” She even gave us tips and showed us some of her Youtube videos on how to land a job in the US. I immedietlly began searching. And I kid you not, in less than a month I had already landed a job in the US!

I sent out dozens of resumés with my portfolio. I think I sent out about 90 cv’s to different companies. Out of those 80, about 10 responded that they could only give jobs to residents in the US. And there was one company out of the 80, Archi-Tectonics, who contacted me, set up some interviews, and decided to hire me as a Trainee in New York city for 18 months! Once I landed the job in the US, I reached out to Architect US and all of the paper work was done in a matter of weeks. As I write this post, I am preparing my luggage to move to the US in 10 days. This process was definitely faster that what I ever imagined.

If I could give you any piece of advise to start your journey, it’s: Work smart and persistent, and you’re gonna see results sooner than you think.

Santiago Herrera


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