WHS Alumna Shares Her Experience in Architecture with Students

Before she became a professional architect, Taylor Loiselle was a Waukee High School student taking APEX courses and learning everything she could about architecture. Now a design professional at Shive-Hattery, Taylor recently paid it forward by sharing her experiences with current iJAG students.

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The Road to Architecture

Taylor’s interest in architecture started in middle school and never wavered. She took advantage of all of the opportunities available at Waukee CSD to further her knowledge in the subject, including engineering courses, college-level “Project Lead the Way” courses, APEX courses, and architecture related internships.

Through Waukee’s APEX program, Taylor took the Civil Engineering and Architecture course. This gave her the opportunity to do some work with Shive-Hattery and introduced her to the business where she is currently employed. After finishing that course, Taylor took another APEX course — Designing Communication Solutions — where she worked with DLR Group, leading to an internship after the course was complete.

Looking back, Taylor says she loved that the APEX program gave students the chance to get “real-world work experience in the areas that they were passionate about.”

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In the Present

Taylor is currently working as a design professional for Shive-Hattery and loves what she does. She’s come to realize that the cliche about architects being a “jack-of-all-trades” is certainly true. Taylor often takes on similar roles to mechanical and electrical engineers, landscape architects, interior designers, and more.

“Architecture at its core is about creating built environments for communities beyond current user groups, while understanding all of the technical aspects required to make a thoughtful building from the outside in,” says Taylor.

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Advice to Students

Taylor believes that you shouldn’t waste any opportunity, and you should never be scared to ask questions. She says students shouldn’t be afraid to ask for opportunities, because the worst an employer could say is “no” — while the best-case scenario could be “internship opportunities, lifelong mentors, and personal growth, which far outweigh any downside.”

Taylor’s favorite piece of advice to share is: “You don’t get what you don’t ask for!”