On Wednesday, February 12th, Warehaus partnered with the York County Alliance for Learning to host the first ever Architectural & Civil Engineering Career Exploration Program. Twenty-two students from 8 different schools across York County visited our studio to hear first-hand advice regarding the pursuit of architectural and engineering careers.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, within 3 years of initial enrollment, about 30% of undergraduates who had declared a major had changed their major at least once. Programs like YCAL’s Career Exploration Program give students exposure to the joys and challenges of careers in advance, to help them make more informed decisions when it comes time to choose a college and declare a major.
Warehaus’ CEO Troy Bankert and CCO Jonathan Wehri, both AIA registered architects, began the day with an overview of Warehaus’ history and a tour of our adaptive reuse office. Warehaus’ team of architects, civil engineers and designers, and structural and MEP engineers work collaboratively in our open-office studio, and students got a real-time look at the day to day workings of a studio. No tour at Warehaus is complete without a peek at our 2nd floor compositing toilets – just another unique contributor to our office’s LEED Platinum-certified status.
Another highlight of the day involved hands-on activities.
Spaghetti Marshmallow Challenge
This activity reinforces the concept of design thinking – a key skill for both architects and engineers. Students use spaghetti, masking tape, string and one marshmallow to build the tallest freestanding tower in 10 minutes.
Lesson plans are available online.
Augmented Reality Sandbox
Members of our civil team built an Augmented Reality Sandbox, using a special projector, a custom built sandbox and software developed by UC Davis. This tool allows users to create topography models by shaping real sand, which is then augmented in real time by an elevation color map, topographic contour lines, and simulated water.
Insights into Internships and Interviews
Students asked insightful questions about their career pursuits.
Do most of our employees live in York? Are most of our employees native to York?
The majority of our employees live within 20-30 minutes of our office. And while many are originally from York, like our CEO who has been with the company for more than 30 years, we also have team members who grew up all over the world – Seattle, Detroit and even Nigeria. We celebrate the unique perspectives that come from our diverse team and encourage students in their junior year to pursue internships with us – we traditionally have 2-5 interns every summer.
What is more important to employers when hiring new grads – grades or talent?
At Warehaus, we are proud of our culture and hire employees that reflect the values we champion – like resourcefulness and trust. Many of those values are built through an outstanding work ethic. An excellent work ethic and good grades often go hand in hand. Students who are serious about their studies learn to manage their time and be accountable for their own decisions. Our employees are given autonomy to manage their own time and many team members rely on them to do so. Therefore, accountability is key to success here. That said, confidence, passion and drive go a long way as well. Students who interview with an outstanding portfolio easily showcase their talent by making eye contact and speaking with confidence. When interviewing, remember to show your true self with professionalism and assurance.
Both our architectural and engineering teams presented insights on their respective career opportunities.
The following resources are helpful to students pursuing a career as a registered architect:
For those interested in engineering licenses, FE and PE exams are offered through National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES).
Thank you to Kevin Appnel, Executive Director at the York County Alliance for Learning, for working with Warehaus to make this event possible.