What attracted you to the A/E/C industry?
23 Years in Architecture
I was attracted to having the ability to influence and shape the built environment, to create spaces that uplift people’s lives, and to explore ways to innovate through architecture.
What is an accomplishment, milestone, or obstacle that influenced you in your career?
Early in my career, I was given the opportunity to design one of the largest condominium developments in Chicago, and only one of the few with unobstructed lake front views. I remember walking into the first presentation and the room was filled with men. I was an Asian woman with a quiet and shy voice, the youngest and had the least experience. We were working with new clients and our first task was to build the
relationship to gain their trust. They initially looked at me like I was a joke.
I was intimidated and afraid, but not of disappointing them - I was afraid to let down Lucien, my boss at the time, who gave me the chance and believed in me. Throughout the design process, I worked harder than I had ever worked before, I made sacrifices - because I had to learn as much and as fast as I can about residential design. I was consistently asked why certain decisions were made, I was being thoroughly vetted for every design move. Slowly but surely, I earned their trust. To this day, I still have a wonderful relationship with each of the client representatives. I learned that to overcome challenges when we feel out of our league, these are the moments where we ask ourselves “What are we capable of?” and put aside the fear and push ourselves to see how far we can go.