Last week, Guillermo Del Rio was interviewed by our CEO Patricia Garcia to provide our community of architects and designers with the opportunity to understand his story and how his career has progressed so quickly since he graduated from ETSAM a couple of years ago going from Madrid to Iceland to California above!
Guillermo has been fascinated with building things since he was a kid and his father showed him the work he did as an engineer. Since then he has always sketched out his ideas and creations to try and show the complete picture. Since becoming an architect, drawing well from the beginning has helped Guillermo to connect all the different factors in designing a building and understanding how it works.
He views hand sketches as the best way to show more complex details during the planning stage, and states, “…that it shows how building works and all the layers behind design concept.” Yet at the same time he states,”… that the more you are able to reduce the drawing the better it looks!”
Guillermo has always had a can-do spirit that translates into a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. He views one’s attitude towards finding a job just as important as your skillset for the job! For example, he was able to work at two different internships in Madrid during his Bachelors and Masters degree. By having these internships under his belt, he was able to apply to an internship in Iceland, which he got accepted to after graduating. Guillermo got to work on one of the biggest construction projects in Iceland at the time, and by doing such great work, he got his internship extended from one month to eight months!! 👏🏽
When asked about how he got all of these opportunities, Guillermo stated that he was persistent in his efforts and confident in himself!
What does this mean? He applied to every opportunity he could find online and he reached out to the decision makers at each opportunity! This positive pro-active mindset translated to his job search in the USA!
Guillermo goes into detail about how he weathered the COVID storm earlier this year! He was able to go from being fired in Los Angeles to hired in San Francisco in under TWO WEEKS! How you might ask?
Guillermo says that you must be active and have lots of energy. He would wake up every day at 6 AM and apply to any job he could find! He never lost faith in the process and himself. It is difficult to keep such an attitude when for example, he saw 90 architects get fired in one day at Corgan in Los Angeles. This is where persistence is key in his mind!
His recommendations for Young Architects and Designers trying to crack the industry is to absorb as much as you can about methodologies, work culture, professional networking, and do not only look at monetary compensation!
In his experience, the West coast firms in the USA and Iceland treats architects very well in terms of compensation, but he recommends that architects understand the value they can gain from experiences, mentors, and the type of firm.
One of the more difficult experiences that Guillermo had to deal with when he was first arriving to Los Angeles was getting kicked out of his apartment after only four days! Unfortunately, he had to deal with a landlord that falsely accused him of damaging the property, and thus he had to sue him in court. It does not get more American than that! 😁
One of the key highlights that Guillermo highly recommends is living in a co-living space, as it allows for you to connect with a community of similar aged people and even network!
In terms of the transition from University to the professional world, he highlights the value of being yourself and viewing your boss as another person like you! Do not overcomplicate things and make sure you can multitask while still maintaining quality. The more versatile you are, the more roles you can fill for a firm! Try to always improve your skills and invest in yourself.