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Beginning A Professional Life In New York City

Jennifer Shin

BArch architecture ’13

Jennifer Lin

Current occupation and title:
Architectural Designer at Leroy Street Studio in New York City

How long have you been working there?
I started Jan 2, 2014. I'm really excited to work with them and can't think of a better place to start out in NYC.

What are some of the most exciting aspects of your occupation and career?
The beginning of a building project is always exciting, especially if we, the designers, get to help shape what a building is and how it is used with the people who will use it. I think it’s the potential of architecture -- knowing what it could be, and working to get there -- that excites me the most.

What would you consider as your greatest achievement in this occupation?
Well, since I’m just starting out, I’d say graduating architecture school, and working during studies, is in itself an achievement. Of course, I hope to achieve much more.

What made you decide to go into this career?
As a kid, I was always taken by the ability for spaces and places to move me. I knew of magic spaces without really understanding what about them made them magic. Architecture empowered me to not only understand this magic, but also help in its creation.

What made you choose Westphal over similar programs?
I chose Westphal simply for its practicality. As a first generation American, practicality is embedded into my core. Drexel is founded on the principle that a Drexel education should prepare its students for the working world, and that principle resonated within me.

How did your time at Westphal prepare you for your career?
The Architecture Department’s work and study curriculum put me into the work force while still in school, helping me to start my career while allowing me to move through at my own pace.

Was our faculty helpful to you in making the transition from college to the professional world? And, are you still in contact with them today?
Since the architecture program puts its students into the professional world during study, the faculty plays a key role in helping to place its students into good firms in Philadelphia. I am still in contact with many faculty and professors, and I consider them good friends and allies.

What advice would you give to young people in your field who are just starting their education?
Architecture (and any design or creative field) is hard work. You will put in too many hours and sleep too little, but if you love it, the rewards will multiply tenfold. Trust your instincts, do work that is true to you, and be open to anything and everything.