Application help


Hello Everyone. 

Needing some advice for my applications to Intro to Arch Programs. I posted previously and found the feedback I recieved so helpful. So thanks in advance. I have 2 questions which I have numbered.

Here is some background information. Coming from an cultural anthropology background. No design background but very creative. 


I've actually never asked anyone for a letter (maybe for a referral on a resume but not a letter).


Do I just expect them to write it up themselves or should I give them a guideline of what I am looking for?

Also, hear is my options for References. Who do you think would be best to include?


My Yoga Student:

She is an architect! Very excited about my enthousiasm in the program and is an avid follower. My relationship is new with her.


Professor A:

took two course with him: Socialogy of Business and project development. Will be able to write about my enthousiasm, and innovation. Got As in his courses. Recent

Professor B: 

Paper on my work with Muslim Women
Got an A in his course.
Doesn't know me personally but saw my enthousiasm and innovation and liked my approach to his course "Racism and Nationalism"


Boss A:

 Former Boss at Lululemon. Trained me for the Western Canada Community Lead for lululemon athletica. Saw my ability to plan, lead, and successfully multipl big projects for multiple stores in Montreal

Boss B:

Boss at Lululemon. Worked very closely along side me. Could comment on visual merchandising I did for windows as well as other marketing initiatives. Knows me best personally.


University Hockey Coach:

My former hockey coach for university Hockey. Most Winning coach in Women's hockey. Assistant coach for team Canada over a decade ago. Could write about my work ethic.

High School English Teacher:

Could write about my creativity...from high school though


Guidance Councellor in high school:

Knows me well personally.

My Yoga Teacher:

Could comment on my personality and my work ethic.


Voice Teacher:

Could comment on my work ethic and my singing voice. She Graduated from Harvard...where one of the programs is.

The Harvard letter asks "what is the most difficult thing you have ever done."
I don't know whether I go broad or whether I bring it down to something more specific. I figure with Architecture you have to be detail oriented...or see the bigger picture. I know someone who spoke about baking in hers. But any general feedback on what they're looking for in these kinds of letters to the intro programs would help.

So here is what I am thinking for the Harvard letter in specific:


Surfing (getting into the specifics)

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Yoga Teacher Training (more broad)

Specific Pose in Yoga (again getting into specifics)

Training for the number 1 women's hockey team in Canada.(more broad)

Canning tomatoes (specifics)

Organizing yoga for a group of veiled women (dealt with so much buraucracy)

Teaching hockey to a group of beginners/ teenage girls


I can't think of anything else.


What are your thoughts? Thanks again.

Jan 19, 13 4:35 pm


Jan 20, 13 1:14 am

I'm not sure how many of these programs you're applying to, but I wouldn't stress too much about the applications. You sound enthusiastic and thoughtful; as long as that comes across you're golden. 

I would think a professor would be best for a rec, Prof. A, and climbing Kilimanjaro is pretty unique, why not that? How would you use your ascent to speak to your abilities in an intro to arch program?

Good luck with the applications and have a great time wherever you end up!

(*disclaimer* I am by no means an authority as I only completed a summer program last year and am waiting to hear back on my M.Arch applications for 2013)

Jan 20, 13 10:35 am

Cool Thanks. 

I also used to plan out and design the windows each month for a retail store...

Good luck in your applications!

Jan 20, 13 2:57 pm

Pick the two professors and one of your bosses.  That's the route I took.  The professors can vouch for your intelligence and dedication.  The boss can vouch for your work ethic.  I would not pick the yoga student, but that's just me.  That's more social than cerebral.

As for the essays, the only one that stood out, though all are interesting, is climbing Kilimanjaro.  Not many people would even consider it, let alone go over to Africa to do that.  Be sure to flesh out the decision process to, and the difficulties in, climbing Kilimanjaro to the discovery, discipline and inquiry process which will be encountered in the M.Arch.

It's tricky when one comes from a field that is not related.  Oftentimes, our teachers and bosses cannot assess our creativity, but do try to select ones who are more likely to make that connection about you, through their writing.

Jan 20, 13 5:30 pm

You should apply to several programs.  I applied to 8 "M.Arch. 3s" -  7 of which were among the top-ranked public schools, and Rice, because it is more "reasonably priced" for a private school.  I was admitted to 4.

Jan 20, 13 6:26 pm

I climbed kilimanjaro too.  Fucking amazing experiance.  I would include something about your architectural/ubanism observations of arusha.  Travel is great, but you need to elaborate on what you were thinking about/observing during your travels.  what did you take away from that experiance that is related to architecture...For me, I was blown away by the informalism of the cities and the countryside...The way the people were sooo connected to the natural world.  The modern forces that threaten the traditional tanzanian way of life....did you get to go to the crater?

Jan 21, 13 1:24 am

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