My name is K-shima Noble, and I am currently a senior at WHSAD. First, I would like to start off by acknowledging the many opportunities present in WHSAD. Not only are these opportunities still present, it is important as students that we take advantage of these opportunities so that we can gain valuable insight that is important in the work force.
One of these opportunities for example was my working experience for Silman. Silman is a structural engineering firm that has worked on many projects. These projects range from using sustainable techniques like adaptive re-use to renovate, refurbish, and/or create entire new buildings. Some of their most notable projects include performing an existing conditions assessment of the dome in the Illinois State capitol, evaluating and commenting on the existing structural conditions of the historic building Cincinnati Museum Center along with being commissioned to develop preservation design principles to guide efforts to restore it, insert new mechanical and electrical systems, and sensitively integrate improvements. Silman also worked on improving the New York City city hall building. This list goes on because they are considered a prestigious engineering firm.
I had the opportunity to work with these amazing people. During my time there, I learned the importance of maintaining professionalism and casual friendliness in a work environment. This is important as engineers tend to collaborate on many projects, meaning petty arguments can disrupt the workflow. I also learned how to dress professionally for a business environment. Additionally, I developed many computer skills. In Silman, a part of my job was the work in the administration department. These computer skills included adding signs and or seals to projects that the presidents of the companies authorize. Along with adding watermarks to projects to prevent plagiarism and gaining a more in-depth understanding of how to utilize many features of the computers that I didn’t know existed. Along with these skills, I also learned other interesting skills like answering the phone, transferring calls, and organizing the source. The source is an internal site within Silman that stores the company’s projects and presentations. However, my most memorable times include engaging in conversation with architects and learning the career paths they took. Based on many conversations I had, many majored in civil engineering, and while some said it was difficult, others said it was in between. I of course benefitted from these conversations since I will be attending college next year. These conversations helped me navigate and finalize what I wanted to do in college.
Working at Silman made me realize the importance of the courses that WHSAD offers. Most notably the Business of Architecture Course. During this course many students will learn to use a program called AutoCAD, a commercial-aided design and drafting software application. Many architects at Silman still use AutoCAD in projects; therefore, the school’s offering this course and the opportunity to earn an AutoCAD certificate opens up many opportunities in different fields of work for WHSAD students. Overall, I am grateful for the opportunity I got this summer because not only have I developed more skills I also have connections with a lot of important people.