This Friday, WHSAD Makerspace students heard from Justin Mora about his studies at City Tech, his work at A-1 Iron Works, and how a WHSAD education helped him transition to college more easily. Each Friday, we welcome our alumni to speak to our students about college and career experiences, opportunities, and objectives, and the value of these presentations cannot be overstated.
Below is Justin’s presentation as well as takeaways from some current WHSAD students.
Justin’s presentation was very eye opening. He was very helpful and really taught me that I should really take advantage of the things WHSAD offers. Also, he gave tips on how to balance school work and actual work, which can personally help me because that’s something that sometimes overwhelms me. He also talked about how he mainly got his job because of the things he learned at WHSAD which makes me more appreciative of WHSAD, the people at the school, and Codio for letting me join this program a little later than everyone else.
During this presentation from Justin, I learned a variety of important information pertaining to college and the overall process of going from high school to college. For example, he gave us tips on the transition. He explained how it could be easier than high school due to the fact we have more control over our lives. This is because we are able to determine our classes and schedule. Furthermore, he stated that there is more work for financial aid as we have to fill it out every semester. He also gave us an insight of the city tech courses and how they work. For instance he explained the English course he took as well as we will be learning basic math our first year.
I enjoyed Justin M’s presentation greatly as I felt it was extremely beneficial. Being that I am currently in the college process and am filled with numerous questions, I found this very helpful as he answered many of my questions and concerns. Furthermore, his words were very assuring as he described college as a great experience. Lastly, being that I applied to City Tech I found the information very interesting as I could possibly be in the same position he is in today.
Being able to hear a college experience from someone like Justin was, something I didn’t think I needed but turns out it was extremely helpful. Justin Mora, an alumni from WHSAD, mentions how his transition from high school to college was not all that difficult for him. It was a relief to hear that as a senior myself I should not be as nervous as I was before. Throughout Justin’s presentation he showed us several architectural programs, and several college experiences that have helped him obtain the job he has now. It was extremely intriguing to see how much his work and skills he was able to obtain from WHSAD have helped him in ways I didn’t realize. Being able to listen to Justin’s experience has only made me more excited to see what my college future holds for me!
Justin’s presentation really put things into perspective for me. He spoke on things I’ve been wondering about since my senior year started. I don’t think he knows how motivational he genuinely is. Honestly, when he showed the work he currently does and stated how he was given such an opportunity because of his accomplishments here at WHSAD, it really did show me I can really make it in the Architecture business if I apply myself correctly. I really do take advantage and appreciate everything this school has done for me.
Many reasons why I will be okay is only because of WHSAD as well. He mentioned how he was first interested in doing Architecture which is what I want to pursue, but hearing how his interest switched in college to something similar gave me a sense of comfort in the fact that there are so many options to choose from, and I’ll find the one for me. It was nice to hear someone close to my age in a career path that is not too far out from what I want to achieve. I hope to follow in his footsteps in a sense. How he left WHSAD and really made something of himself, the way he landed his job was amazing as well. He just added himself to a conversation since he had that one qualification that they could build up his skills with already. I just really hope life after my senior year runs smoothly like his because I really do want to pursue architecture in my future and need a good education and job like he clearly has.
Justin Mora’s presentation gave off a sense of reality and a breath of fresh air. As a WHSAD alum, Justin Mora automatically has something in common with all of us students. What resonated with me the most was the opportunities that opened up for Justin just by him attending WHSAD. As someone who has taken advantage of the various opportunities that WHSAD offers, it is refreshing to know that the experience I gain from those opportunities will pay off in some way. With an AutoCAD certification, Justin Mora was able to get a job at a construction firm named A-1 Ironworks, where he is an assistant to a steel detailer and even does some steel detailing work himself. His experience in the work field is proof that WHSAD is an amazing school that sets its students up for success.
Aside from Justin Mora’s work experience, his discussion on his college experience also helped give me some insight. Originally majoring in Architecture, Justin Mora switched his major to Communication Design. During our phone conversation on Wednesday, Justin Mora explained to me that while he loved the design aspect of architecture, he ultimately felt that Communications Design was a better fit for him. This is not the first time that I’ve heard of WHSAD alumni switching their major from architecture. Hearing his experience and seeing where he is now was a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I’ve always felt that the possibility of switching my major was scary. But seeing how well Justin Mora is now, despite changing his major, is very inspiring for me to not be afraid to have a change of mind.
Today Justin Mora gave Makerspace participants a share of his experience. He shared that he changed his major to Communication Design and was surprised that the AutoCAD certification is still very valuable to A-1 Ironworks, which he is currently working for. Justin presented his drawings that are made from Tekla (a software able to model structures that incorporate different kinds of building materials, including steel, concrete, timber, and glass). The drawings showed a tall building with many views. According to Justin, it wasn’t that hard to learn with the foundation of AutoCAD, and Mr. Codio did share that this software has most, if not all, of the calculations done already. This means the products produced by this software are less likely to be wrong due to calculations. Before using this software, Justin did inform us of the importance of the computer hardware specifications. Luckily, Justin is able to do well in school while having a well-paid job that can afford the new computer he is buying soon.
This overall meeting with Justin was very informative and interesting. He reminded me that it is important to do what I truly like. If the major is not for me, there are other majors to pick from. But keeping the skills learned from WHSAD is really important, specifically AutoCAD. It can help sell me on the market. I am really surprised how he is still able to major in Communication Design and still able to produce high-quality structural drawings for his company. It’s always useful to learn extra software and not just be stuck to one, or else that will eliminate me from the market. The software, Tekla, does look fun to use. I will take a look into it and try it out since I have a laptop that is good enough to run almost everything. Justin is an excellent example of being able to manage his school, job, and personal life pretty well. That is certainly something I want to learn about and improve on since I don’t want any of these three factors to conflict with each other. Overall. I am thankful for Justin taking his time to share with Makerspace participants of his experience at City Tech. and life after graduating from WHSAD.
-Yu Feng Zhou