Rebecca Martinez, 300 Level student
Student chartered organizations on campus can be a great way to help boost your resume and learn responsibility, but it’s also a way to gain new experiences and learn how to work as a team -you might even make a few friends! However, balancing a full-time school load can already be demanding enough, especially when you’re studying Architecture which, as we students all know, essentially becomes a way of life… with a little college on the side. So you might be thinking, “Why should I bother with student chartered organizations when I could be dedicating all my time to my grades and my degree?” That’s why I’m here to tell you about my experience in the American Institute of Architecture Students.
When my peers ask me, “So, what can I get out of AIAS,” my response is to tell them, (like anything else) you get out of it what you put in. For most people however, they see AIAS as a gateway to AIA. And in general they would be right; if you make the right efforts within the group, it is easy to be exposed to so many great local professionals in the AIA and in the profession of architecture all around New Mexico. I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who are full of the wisdom and advice that students, recent graduates, and “newbies” to the practicing world crave.
Anyone who knows a thing or two about communications in the work world knows that, often times, it really is about who you know; this for me has been proven true in my own experience in both education and the field. But it’s not always as simple as that, you also have to make it about who you are and what you do and I believe that AIAS is the perfect platform for students to accomplish both. While meeting the right people by chance can happen anywhere anytime, working with AIAS puts students in close proximity to important people frequently, and the work that we do is a testament to a student’s reliability, dedication, and involvement in the field. When you get involved, the right people will take notice.
Making connections with local professionals is the number one reason I provide when people ask me what AIAS can give them. Yet, here at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning, AIAS has really become a community by the students, for the students. My participation in the group has taught me that AIAS really is whatever you make of it. We’ve seen a very impressive re-vamp of the chapter this year that really proves what the group is about. It’s about learning to work together in new ways. It’s about making memories at fun events. But above all, whether it’s architecture related or not, it’s about showing your character by taking initiative to work on fulfilling projects and broadening the scope of what a student of architecture can do.
Want to know if UNM SA+P is the right school for you? Stay tuned as the 2016-2017 UNM AIAS board delves into what life is like within and beyond the walls of the University of New Mexico's School of Architecture and Planning. From the greater Southwest to our own studio culture and family, this blog series will highlight just some of what makes the UNM SA+P experience so unique.