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Voith & Mactavish Architects

Brittany Gross

BS interior design ’13

Rachel Mongeluzo-Gross

Where are you employed? Voith & Mactavish Architects

What are some of the exciting aspects of your occupation and career?
Throughout my career I have had a focus on educational design – from pre-k to higher education. I get great satisfaction and joy out of the work that we do, specifically seeing how our designs directly impact and shape the learning experience for students and teachers. My passion has always been in sustainable design, and I strive to be an advocate for designing healthier environments – both for our planet and for people. Sustainability is an ever-changing field as there is always something new to learn and teach, which is what keeps me excited and focused.

Why did you choose Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design over similar programs?
There were a few things that drew me to Drexel’s Interior Design program. First, I was interested in focusing my degree on sustainable design. Throughout my years at Drexel I was able to work with faculty so that a minor in Sustainability in the Built Environment could be developed. Seeing the growth of more sustainability-related courses was really rewarding to me, and I hope the program continues to thrive. I also fell in love with the city of Philadelphia and all it has to offer, from its culture and arts to its walkability and accessibility… so much so that I have not left since starting at Drexel in 2009!

How significant was your coop experience in shaping your employment?
I am extremely grateful for my co-op experience where I worked at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences. I was originally hired for my co-op as a sustainability researcher. This position eventually grew into a full-time role that I held for multiple years, providing me with a great foundation for the start of my career. My years spent working at UPenn also provided me with the opportunity to further my education through their Master of Environmental Studies program. 

What advice would you give to young people in your field who are just starting their education?
My number one piece of advice would be to get involved even when it is hard to make the time. There is so many different organizations and opportunities out there to help build your network, so there is really something for everyone. The Philadelphia design community is a such special network to be a part of, and these connections may not only bridge you to a future opportunity, but the people you will meet are truly wonderful and inspiring. I promise when you look back at your years as a student, it is going to be these opportunities and these connections that will have the biggest impact on your career.