Archinect - Just an Intern 2014-11-22T23:59:59-05:00 Next Station: Gensler Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-10-11T19:13:27-04:00 >2014-11-01T23:55:34-04:00 <p>Hi Archinect,</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>If you remember about two years ago, I wrote about my experience on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">getting my second job</a>. Now I am moving on to the third one. Three years ago when I first graduated, I had a plan of where I would go:</p><ol><li>A small firm to learn as much as I can about the basic business of architecture.</li><li>A medium-sized firm for a more diverse design project experience.</li><li>A well-known international firm to work on international projects so I can make my way back to Hong Kong.</li></ol><p>More about my new job after the break.</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">View full entry &gt;&gt;</a><br>(This will take you to my website.)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Joann<br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a><br>Follow me&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">@joannlui</a></p> Intern 101: What do you wear to work? Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-07-16T10:09:00-04:00 >2014-11-01T23:41:45-04:00 <p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>As summer rolls along, I want to do a fun blog post on workwear. I go through this dilemma every morning - What do I wear to work? A lot of firms now are more casual, but do I really wear t-shirts and jeans to work? Plus we probably don't have money to buy fancy clothing, so do I just follow the simple architect-wear-black code? Recently, I realize I tend to wear white with colors, because I think going to work should be fun. But sometimes it's probably a little too much...</p><p>One day I forgot I had a client meeting, so as usual in the morning I wore one of my bright colored pants to work - this time was super bright yellow. We drove to the client's office, where everyone was wearing black suits. My yellow pants were screaming at everyone like "LOOK AT ME!! I AM YELLOW". Even though my boss was fine with it, so did the client, I stopped wearing those yellow pants to work to avoid this embarrassing moment in the future.</p><p>To prevent you from running into this problem like me,&nbsp;I...</p> Intern 101: How to deal with a new experience? Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-06-04T12:13:00-04:00 >2014-11-02T21:26:25-05:00 <p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>Back to our Intern 101 series! Here goes a very important topic that no one really talks about. What do you do when you are tackling work that are over your experience level? NCARB wants us to fill in all these different categories, but honestly sometimes they are really difficult. This is what I have experienced lately at work, so I thought I would share with you on things to do when you don&rsquo;t know what to do. Let&rsquo;s be honest, that happens to us every day.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><strong>1. Ask a lot of questions</strong><br>Number one rule at a workplace = ask questions. I have written about <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How to Get Involved in Your Firm</a> before, and one of the points is also to ask question. <strong>JUST ASK THE QUESTION.</strong>&nbsp;I call my project architect at least 5 times a day with questions. If you are an intern, you are expected to be progressive about your learning. So do it! See it as a learning opportunity every time you encounter a problem and you will get so much better before you know it.</p><p>Four more points on this topic after the bre...</p> Best Blogs for Architecture Students and Interns Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-05-03T23:13:00-04:00 >2014-05-12T22:09:57-04:00 <p>Quick announcement!</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><strong>Just an Intern</strong> made the list for&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Best Blogs for Architecture Students and Interns</a> on NCARB!</p><p>Check out the other awesome bloggers too. Jenny at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AREndurance</a>&nbsp;is probably my favorite since she blogged about her ARE experience with a great sense of humor.</p><p>Thanks for everyone supporting me on this blog. Onto more blog posts...</p><p>Joann</p> ARE Day 053: CDS EXAM DAY Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-05-03T22:53:40-04:00 >2014-11-02T21:25:24-05:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>Last week was crazy. Overtime all weekend. Deadline on Tuesday. Sick on Wednesday. Then exam on Thursday! I was so sick and out of it during the exam that I don&rsquo;t really remember much. But I will try to share with you all.&nbsp;My exam was at 6pm on Thursday, so I took a day off from work and lay in bed all day just listening to the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Schiff Hardin Lectures</a> &ndash; very good overviews of the contracts and delivery methods right before the exam.</p><p>Read more about my experience on the exam day after the break.</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">View full entry &gt;&gt;</a></p><p>(This will take you to my website.)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Joann<br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a><br>Follow me&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">@joannlui</a></p> ARE Day 035: Scheduled My Exam Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-04-06T00:52:37-04:00 >2014-11-02T22:32:36-05:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>What's your study tunes? I am up to the fifth album of Colour Haze today...For some reasons, the tunes help me focus and energized when I study. It's probably just because I like their music. Anyway, work had been super busy this past week that I couldn't study for a week. To stop myself from infinitively pushing off my studying because of work, I finally scheduled my exam!<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Exam: CDS</strong><br><strong>Date:&nbsp;</strong><strong>April 24th at 6pm</strong></p><p>Find my study plan after the break.</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">View full entry &gt;&gt;</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Joann<br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a><br>Follow me&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">@joannlui</a></p> ARE Day 025: Just can't stop studying?! Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-03-26T14:12:00-04:00 >2014-03-27T19:40:02-04:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>Wow! Has it really been 25 days already? I lost count of the days while studying EVERYDAY! I still haven't set a day for my CDS exam yet, but it will probably be some time next month. So I have been studying for about six weeks now, and I have developed a strategy to tackle all these readings we have to do (seriously it's a lot!). I will share it with you here and I want to know how you study for the ARE too!</p><p><strong>MY STUDY SCHEDULE</strong></p><p>I study when I get home from work almost every night after dinner, and a couple hours on the weekends. Probably since I don't have much experience with contract documents, I spent most of my time reading through them.</p><p><em>One quick tip: </em>I&nbsp;find it easier to understand from reading the actual AIA contract documents with the commentary than reading Kaplan abstractly talking about the contracts.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><strong>MY STUDY MATERIALS</strong></p><p>I am kinda of crazy about rainbow colored I made a different color label for each section in my folder. The folder contains all my study...</p> ARE Day 005: What to Take First? Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-03-05T21:52:17-05:00 >2014-03-05T21:54:54-05:00 <p><img title="" alt="" src="">Hi Archinect,</p><p>I spent most of first two days researching and grabbing every single study material I could find. There are so many resources between flashcards, books, notes from forums and lectures&hellip;I have soon become very overwhelmed. Wouldn&rsquo;t it be great if they can just give us one big book to cram everything in for the tests? But I guess you can&rsquo;t just cram for architecture. It&rsquo;s really about understanding the different concepts. That&rsquo;s what I love about architecture though - you have to know a little bit about everything. I am actually excited to study and learn about new things in this profession. I do hope the ARE can help me reinforce these vague ideas I have in my head about contracts, technical details, project management etc.</p><p>We have the Kaplan and Ballast books and pdfs in our office, so I started studying PPP. Soon I realized how broad the topics are and have become very very confused. I guess there is a reason why people suggest taking CDS before PPP. Since CDS is more sp...</p> ARE Day 001: The Start of My ARE Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-02-28T21:34:00-05:00 >2014-03-06T12:15:01-05:00 <p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>Now that I am 25 (almost turning 26!), I am finally getting ready to take the ARE! I still haven't finished my IDP, but some of the states allow you to take the exams concurrently with your IDP hours - so check before you apply. I always felt like there was something missing since I graduated, like it's not complete until I become licensed. So after two years of hard work, it's about time! Sohere it begins:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="">It took me almost two months from the moment I clicked "Request Eligibility" on my NCARB to getting the approval email. I just want to share with you some quick tips of what I have learned and what you can totally do to avoid this situation.</p><p><strong>1. Set a Goal</strong></p><p>Everything is easier when you set up a goal for yourself. My goal is to finish all the seven exams before I turn 27. That gives me 1 year 1 month 25 days / 13 months 25 days / 421 days. Most people take 1-2 years to finish the ARE, so I think this is possible. If I take an exam every two months, that will be 14 months ...</p> Website Sneakpeak! Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2014-02-11T11:40:53-05:00 >2014-06-04T09:55:49-04:00 <p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>Have you made a personal website? If not, you should! It's about time for me to stop procrastinating and start this project that I have been planning to do for a long long time. I have tried learning HTML, tried making a website on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Wordpress</a>, tried asking my IT friends for help...but due to my lack of coding ability, I couldn't get it to do what I want to do. So I decided to try <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Squarespace</a>. Honestly, they have so many beautiful templates and so easy to use that I can never turn back now.</p><p>So here is a quick sneakpeak of my website:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>I want my website to be very simple, yet bold, colorful and graphical. I have just set up my header and my blog underneath. There are still some work to do on my portfolio pages and writing an about me, which I touched on in my post&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Writing: About Me</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Here are some designers' websites that I have been looking at for inspiration:<br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Derek Boateng</a>&nbsp;- his website is done in squarespace too. I like the simple but fun graphics.<br><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Poulin Morris</a>&nbsp;- a graphic d...</p> Drinks with Brooks Atwood of POD Design Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2013-08-13T20:59:00-04:00 >2013-08-19T23:37:52-04:00 <p> Hi Archinect,</p> <p> <em>Two posts in a row...We are featuring Brooks Atwood = co-founder and head of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">POD Design</a>&nbsp;=&nbsp;assistant professor of Industrial Design = assistant director of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Idea Factory</a> in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">College of Architecture and Design</a> at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New Jersey Institute of Technology</a>&nbsp;(my school!!)</em></p> <p> <em>As inspiring as always, Brooks talks about his design inspiration and advices for young designers like us. Let's have drinks with Brooks.</em></p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> <strong>How did you start out in design? Did you always want to go into the arts?</strong></p> <p> I grew up curious. Not just with art, but in life.&nbsp; Initially, I was unaware that design was even a profession, and I grew up always tinkering with things.&nbsp; I would take apart things, and put them back in different ways.&nbsp; My dad would force me to build things for him, like I had to redo the roof of the boat house, but he only taught me one technique of wood framing and then I had to do the rest on my own.&nbsp; It would get frustrating, but that&rsquo;s the best way to learn.</p> <p> My home was a creati...</p> Brooks Atwood - Creative Mornings Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2013-07-15T22:14:10-04:00 >2013-07-22T19:32:14-04:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Hi Archinect,</p> <p> One of my school professors, Brooks Atwood, is competing on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">HGTV Star</a>! He is an amazing designer, who runs <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">POD Design</a>&nbsp;in Brooklyn, NY. I have been watching him throughout the whole season, and finally found this presentation by him for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Creative Mornings</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> His design philosophy is simply to design like a rockstar. Don't let anyone hold you back. Be original and go for what you want. I get inspired just by looking at how true he stays to himself in every part of his life. (I mean...his hair?) If only every professor in architecture school could teach like him...I would never fall asleep in an 8:30am class...</p> <p> If you love him as much as I do, vote for him <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>. The home decorating world will be changed, if he can have his own HGTV show!!! (Okay, I know I am overly excited.)</p> <p> Enjoy the video! Hope it inspires you one way or another.</p> <p> Joann</p> Intern 101: How to make an awesome resume? Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2013-06-09T16:38:00-04:00 >2014-09-05T12:59:02-04:00 <p><img alt="" title="" src=""></p><p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>First, I want&nbsp;to congratulate all the new graduates this year!!! Are you ready for the real world? Finally, you graduated after five years (or more) of hard work, and its time for you to get out there and find a job. When I first graduated, I had no clue what to do with finding a job. (My school didn&rsquo;t really have much support when it comes to architectural jobs unfortunately.) I blindly sent out a bunch of resumes and work samples, even though I didn&rsquo;t know what a work sample was. So I decided this week I will share some of my thoughts on how to make your resume (while eating this fancy Sea Salt Fudge Truffle icecream...). Feel free to put in your ideas!</p><p><strong>1. The Magic: Graphic Clarity</strong></p><p>We (architects/students/designers) are visual people. We strive for graphic clarity and consistency in everything we do from school presentations to CDs to our little sketchbooks. Why not our resumes too? If you google "designer's resume", you will find a ton of ways to graphically spice up ...</p> Reblog - 20/20: Italian Influence Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2013-06-05T16:43:37-04:00 >2013-06-10T22:41:38-04:00 <p> Hi Archinect,</p> <p> With my super busy schedule juggling between my 1.5 hour commute and buying a house (yes! I am purchasing my first home!!), I decided to reblog some posts that I wrote for my office... Every other week, we have a 20/20 lunch session, in which one staff member will present 20 slides in 20 mins on any topic related to design/architecture. We had an interesting conversation on building speculation influenced by Italy this week. Hope it will spark some discussion here.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> "Le Mani Sulla Citta" (Hands Over the City) is a drama film directed by Francesco Rosi, an Italian film director, in 1963. The story built on the political corruption in real estate development in the post-World War II period of Naples, Italy. Danielle Matuch presented her study on this film at this week's 20/20 luncheon in the Princeton office. She studies images from the movie to analyze building speculation, and how it could be tied to our society today.</p> <p> At the time where Brutalist architecture...</p> Intern 101: How to get involved in your firm Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2013-04-18T11:38:00-04:00 >2014-06-04T11:57:31-04:00 <p>Hi Archinect,</p><p><img alt="" src=""></p><p>Do you think you are not doing much at your job? A lot of us are usually drafting every second of the day, but we can do so much more. First, we need to take the initiative to infuse some fun and young energy into our office environment. Don't just sit in front of your computer all day. The more we get involved, the more we will learn, and the more we can contribute to the work we do.</p><p><strong>1. Volunteer to do anything</strong><br>Maybe not ANYTHING... But something that you are interested in. It might not be something that you would put on your resume, but find some different thing to do while at work can keep you sane. I write our office blog covering our weekly luncheons, when I get bored of doing CD. Not only is it super fun, but it also lets me work with the marketing folks which is a great learning experience. Maybe you can make proposals, take care of the material library, make a library of revit families, cad blocks, organize activities.....Do something that you like, so when you ar...</p> Intern 101: How to Negotiate your Salary Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2013-02-18T20:35:00-05:00 >2013-02-21T00:00:05-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Hi Archinect,</p> <p> A&nbsp;new intern recently asked me if he should negotiate his salary when offered a job even if he has no professional experience. OF COURSE! YES! Even if you have zero experience, you should always discuss your salary with your potential employer. Not having experience doesn't mean we don't have to pay the bills, so we should always ask for what we deserve and never work for free. I am not particularly an expert in this field, but I put together a little list based on my and other's experiences.</p> <p> <strong>1. Know your skills</strong><br> If you get to the point of negotiating salary, they probably already want to hire you. Before knowing what you are worth, you need to know why they want you. As an intern, do you have better computer skills than other candidates? Do they have to send you to training? They probably already have an idea of what they want to pay you, so knowing how beneficial you are to a firm will help you figure out what they might offer you.</p> <p> <strong>2. Research!</strong><br> Always res...</p> Everyone can draw! Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2013-01-27T18:00:00-05:00 >2013-02-04T00:17:34-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Hi Archinect,</p> <p> I am&nbsp;so honored that my blog made <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Top 12 Blogs for '12</a>&nbsp;and my <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">profile</a> too! Thanks for reading my blog and having such an active discussion on the topics. It's always great to hear from you. Anyway, on this super cold Sunday, I want to share my recent inspiration with you.</p> <p> Since my work is an hour and 15 minutes away from my house (oh suburbs...), I have a carpool buddy to share the ride with&nbsp;occasionally. He's a doctor, who of course makes SO MUCH MORE money than us interns. He had an American dream to make money and live the life he wouldn't be able to live in his own country. Two days ago on our ride home in the snow, for a good two hours, he complained how he doesn't have any talents. "It's like I am not good at anything in life," he said. But I have always believed that everyone has a talent.&nbsp;Most of them, like my friend here, just haven't found it yet.&nbsp;</p> <p> We hear a lot of architects say, "I became an architect because I played legos when I was little." Ev...</p> Unwanted Degree #1 = Architecture? Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2012-12-26T20:39:00-05:00 >2014-04-26T20:40:26-04:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Hi Archinect,</p> <p> Merry Christmas! Hope you all had a good holiday.</p> <p> Right before I ran off to my yoga class the other day, my cousin sent me this article about the most unwanted degrees in&nbsp;the US. So I thought I would share here with you: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Don't Bother Earning These Five Degrees.</a></p> <p> <em>"<strong>Unwanted Degree #1 = Architecture</strong><br> Earning a bachelor's in architecture might impress a lot of people, but according to a 2012 study by the&nbsp;Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, "Hard Times, College Majors, Unemployment&nbsp;and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal," it might not impress a lot of employers.&nbsp;And that can be tough to take, says Lynn, since architecture is such an industry-specific major. "If there's not&nbsp;a job offer waiting when you graduate, then it can be very frustrating because it can be very hard to maneuver&nbsp;into another career path with this degree due to its narrow focus," says Lynn.<br> Perhaps that's the reason the "Hard Times" study found a 13.9 p...</em></p> Getting a new job! Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2012-12-12T10:34:00-05:00 >2013-01-22T17:40:52-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Hi Archinect!</p> <p> For a very long time, I have been looking for a new job. Changing jobs among intern architects seems to be a normal trend. Some of my friends have even changed three jobs in two years. So, after a year and a half, I thought it's about time for me to learn something new.</p> <p> Like many others, my goal was to work in the&nbsp;city. And like many others, I have sent out tons of resumes to many firms in the city, but still haven't gotten any response. As I was giving up, I remembered after I had an interview once with a firm that I really liked, the architect told me they would keep me in mind in the future. Granted it wasn't in the city, but the interview went extremely well and they put a lot of effort into IDP, which is very important to me. So I&nbsp;followed their website for a while, and finally saw that they were hiring for intern architects. Bingo! I sent them an email to reconnect with them. Even though it's been 9 months since we last talked, but they still remember me...</p> Intern 101: How to write an "About Me" Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2012-08-31T17:13:00-04:00 >2014-10-11T22:10:41-04:00 <p><img alt="" title="" src=""></p><p>Hi Archinect,</p><p>With all the websites, blogs and social media profiles, you always need a short bio; may be more so than a resume. As an intern that doesn't have much experience or things to brag about, I have struggled a lot of times writing my own bio. Writing it is not difficult, but making it short and simple is the hardest part.</p><p>I finally came across this very helpful article: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Reume is Dead, The Bio is King</a> by Michael Margolis.&nbsp;Here is a formula that Michael put together:</p><ul><li>Share a point of view</li><li>Create a back story</li><li>Incorporate external validations</li><li>Invite people into relationship</li></ul><p>Here are some questions that he raised:</p><ul><li>Who I am (what I do)</li><li>How can I help you (my skills)</li><li>How did I get here (school + experience)</li><li>Why can you trust me (again, valiadations)</li><li>What we share in common (put something easy to relate to like coffee, yoga...)</li></ul><p>Plus, add your own little twist to spice it up!&nbsp;I also like to put a little &ldquo;What people say...&rdquo; section after my bio, just so employers get a sense of me without r...</p> Are we not professional? Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2012-07-24T21:32:00-04:00 >2012-12-12T09:51:48-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> Hi Archinect,</p> <p> A few days ago, I heard about this very interesting news on the radio. It says that <strong>Generation Y is often fired after a year because of their extensive use of social media at work. </strong>That makes me wonder:<strong>&nbsp;</strong>Are we really that unprofessional? or are the majority of employers, being Generation X, do not understand how we work?</p> <p> First of all, I do know there are always exceptions where some people really use social media too much that they don't finish their work properly. &nbsp;So we can't just group a whole generation of people into a specific type. But for the sake of this discussion, I did a quick&nbsp;Google&nbsp;search of what's the main differences between Generation X (born between 1961-1981) and Y (born between 1981-2000). &nbsp;And here are the results:</p> <p> Generation X:</p> <ul><li> love-hate relationship with technology</li> <li> like individual work</li> </ul><p> Generation Y:</p> <ul><li> expect technology</li> <li> team-oriented</li> </ul><p> Most of us Intern Architects nowadays are Generation Y, and needless to say we LOVE tech...</p> Just an Intern? Joann Lui, LEED Green Assoc. 2012-06-12T15:14:51-04:00 >2014-11-01T23:37:57-04:00 <p>Hi Archinect!</p><p>Since my blog is about our path to becoming a licensed architect, I thought on my first blog post we should define who we really are as an"Intern Architect".</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Most of us experience this when we started our first job after architecture school - What are we called? NCARB &amp; AIA has outlined that we are called "Intern Architect" or "Architectural Intern" until we get our licenses; hence, the infamous Intern Development Program. But many are called "Junior Architect", "Intermediate Architect" or "Architectural Designer". In my firm, I am entitled "Project Designer", but I went from putting "Architectural Designer" to "Project Designer" to "Junior Architect" on my resume. Yet, I still cannot define who I really am.</p><p>Read more about my take on our title after the break.</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">View full entry &gt;&gt;</a><br>(This will take you to my website.)</p><p>Joann</p>