Career English Student Success: Desiree’s architecture firm!

CISL’s Career English Program provides students an incredible opportunity to learn English in a small classroom setting, then spend time at an American company. Desiree, from Switzerland, shared her experience with Studio E Architects. Thanks for sharing, Desiree!

After spending four months learning English at Converse Languages School in San Diego, Desiree began the Career English program. She worked closely with our Career English Coordinator to find the most fitting experience for her based on her prior experience and education and her future work goals. Why did she choose architecture as her desired field for her Career English program? “Five years ago I started my apprenticeship as a draftsperson in Switzerland, so I would really like to draw in San Diego and I wondered how an architecture firm worked here.”

Desiree worked with Studio E Architects, which she explains is “a thirteen-person collaborative led by two principals, Eric Naslund, and John Sheehan.” After being coached by the Career English Coordinator on how to shine during an interview with an American company, Desiree interviewed with John . . . and was offered a chance to spend time with the company!

Studio E Architects

How was the first day? What about the first week? Says Desiree, “My first day I was introduced to everybody and got a place where I can work for the next four weeks. In my first week I should try to draw in a new software. It is called Sketchup and you can draw 3D models with it. It was completely new for me because I was used to draw with Archi CAD what is quite different to Sketchup. I could always ask somebody for help if I got stuck, which was very useful.

After three days of trying out I could start drawing a multi family house. I made different alternatives. I also could start to draw a new project always supported by John, who was showing me what exactly he want me to draw.”

In addition to spending time working with these new programs, Desiree had the chance to work with the company owners directly. “One day John took me out to show me the place where my first project should be build [sic] soon. So we took some pictures from the neighborhood there and back in the office I should draw the neighbour[hood] buildings next to the new building in Sketchup.” Such a cool experience!

Another great experience? Learning a little more about beautiful San Diego, straight from an SD local! “Afterwards John was telling me about the history of San Diego what all starts with the Missions in 1769. The first Mission of 21 was . . . in San Diego.”

"Mission San Diego de Alcalá - church" by Bernard Gagnon - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the church in California. Learn more about the state’s missions with our article “Types of TOEFL Prompts and California Missions.”

For another project, Desiree had the opportunity to learn about one of San Diego’s most impressive architectural buildings, the Salk Institute in La Jolla. “Maxine is responsible for an huge parking garage which has already started build [sic] in the UCSD campus. I could go with her and John to visit the construction area which was very interesting. After that we went to the Salk Institute. It was amazing to see this building in real and John told me stuff about the architect Luis Kahn and the building.” Amazing!

Overall, Desiree said the experience was incredibly positive. “To sum up, this four weeks were great and sadly too short. The team was so nice, friendly and helpful. I can completely recommend this company to other students!”

We thank you, Desiree, for your hard work with Studio E and with CISL! Your English improved greatly during your five months in SD, and it was a pleasure seeing you enjoy yourself!

Would you like to spend time with an American company and improve your CV? Contact CISL and learn more about our Career English program!

Cover photo courtesy of Desiree.

“Mission San Diego de Alcalá – church” photo by Bernard Gagnon and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Studio E Architects photo from Studio E Architects via Facebook.