Architects sometimes are portrayed as high ego, creative and over structured individuals, that can be the case of some of us, but surely we all have gone through the humbling process of learning.

Being trained in architecture field out of my home country has been a great and challenging experience, so far, I notice that the practice I have been exposed to in my home country is widely different than how everything works here, starting from the construction types, vocabulary, regulations, codes, permits, the way softwares are used and how projects are approach.

At the beginning I was overwhelmed, I was putting on my shoulders a weight that I could not bear. I was expecting perfection from myself by thinking that that would come just by having the word “Architect” on my diploma. Do not be deceived, as humans and professional we are not perfect, we will make mistakes and we will learn from them and that is ok, that is natural.

Embrace humbleness. I know that we can be our own greatest enemies, that is my case, sometimes I find myself trying to avoid asking things that I don’t know because I fear they would picture me as fool, but once again, do not be deceived. The best way to learn is to ask and let other guide you until the knowledge sinks in.

Rest. A crucial part of the learning process is resting, our brains finish assimilating the information they received all day long when we are sleeping and when we are out of office, don’t underestimate your sleep cycle, and as J1 Visa holders let’s use our time out of office to travel, know more about the culture and enjoy all that North America has to offer!

I just want to close with a piece of advice a coworker gave me: “Be patient with yourself, do your Job and enjoy the process” and “it is better to ask twice than sending over work that is not accurate”

When we are pushed out of our comfort zone then we grow as individuals and professionals.

I hope this help whoever is reading, specially interns on J1 visa.

Stay tuned, verse 3 is on his way.


Gregory Gordon

Colombian afro-caribbean architect navigating the U.S market and experiencing it's culture. Into music, visual arts and finding beauty in this world.


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