← Back to A day in the life

Going to school became a whole new game when I started Waukee APEX. The Architecture and Engineering course is a class unlike any I have ever taken. I no longer start my daily routine heading to the high school to sit in class. I now start my mornings going to many different locations to meet with business partners, work with my mentor at our host site, talk with other APEX associates, and/or meet new professionals in the architecture and engineering field to work on projects.

As an Architecture and Engineering Associate, I have a mentor that is employed at our host site, Shive-Hattery. My mentor, Garret, is a Landscape Architect that does many different tasks throughout Shive-Hattery. During this semester I have been meeting with him to discuss problems I have on projects, look over my resume and cover letter, and have project update meetings. Having an Architecture and Engineering professional as a mentor is an awesome bonus to my everyday APEX experience and has been a large resource for me to jump start my engineering career.

With Garret’s help, as well as a fellow APEX associate, I have been working on a renovation of the West Des Moines Marriott’s front entrance and canopy. I first started this project early in the semester during the early stages of the project. We began the project by finding inspiring photos and research based on contemporary hotels in the region. The primary goal was to find exotic ideas to make the West Des Moines Marriott one-of-a-kind. After we found many photos of possible design ideas and inspiration, Garret pitched them to the client. The client then gave Garret feedback so we could further direct our design ideas. After this meeting, we began to draft designs for the West Des Moines Marriott. We met with Garret along the way to talk about our progress and our final ideas. Garret took many of our final designs to the client for the final meeting where they solidified their plans for the grand entrance of their hotel.

A large part of my APEX semester was spent drafting possible designs for the Marriott using programs such as Sketch-Up and Inventor. To take a break from our computers we toured many architecture and engineering firms. Going on tours is a great way to meet other business professionals and network with new companies, to make more connections, and find more resources! When we would return to our computers I often times would sit down with my instructor and fellow associates to answer questions I had about the programs and drawings. I feel confident that my work with professional softwares will be highly beneficial for my future career.

After high school, I plan to attend Iowa State University to study Agricultural Engineering. My goal after college is to secure an engineering position at a successful company in the midwest. My goal would be to help clients with their agricultural machinery and fields while focusing on water runoff and drainage. I am also interested in working with land development to help conserve our valuable farmland in the great midwest.