Christine Williamson says that she enjoyed drawing as a child, which is something that future architects often experience. But Christine never considered pursuing that as a career. Instead, she majored in sociology and French in college and took a job in marketing after she graduated.
However, Christine discovered that she didn’t care much for her job, nor did she feel that she was particularly good at it. And when she looked around her at other people in different jobs, she found that she wasn’t interested in their jobs either. Eventually, she decided to go back to school – specifically to Boston Architectural College. She chose that school because she liked that she would work full time while learning.
During Christine’s first summer in architecture school, she interned for a firm in New York that specialized in extremely energy-efficient buildings. This interested Christine very much, and she stayed with the firm past her internship, opting to schedule all of her classes in Boston for one day a week and spend the rest of each week in New York. However, eventually, that situation couldn’t last. Christine ended up transferring to San Diego to finish her architecture degree.
Christine details the difficulty that she had applying for jobs after she graduated, as well as the conversation that prompted her to change her focus when applying for jobs. She also talks about ongoing education, licensing, and the Building Science Fight Club on Instagram. Listen in to hear about Christine’s journey into architecture.
What You’ll Hear on This Episode
- Christine’s interest in drawing
- Christine’s original college majors
- Christine’s first career
- Why Christine decided to go to architecture school
- Christine’s internship in New York
- Why Christine transferred schools
- Christine’s experience applying for jobs after she finished school
- Christine’s jobs after graduation
- How Christine’s focus changed and how that affected her career
- What appeals to Christine about teaching
- Christine’s Building Science Fight Club
- What Christine thinks about licensing
- Christine’s advice for aspiring architects
- The book that changed everything for Christine
- Christine’s favorite resource
- Christine’s best timesaving trick
- How listeners can connect with Christine
Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode
- It’s important for teachers to pass along knowledge without making students feel dumb.
- Pursue competence over credentials. It’s the knowledge that matters.
- You can take charge of filling in the gaps in your own education.
Christine Williamson’s Advice for Aspiring Architects
“Perhaps the one helpful thing I can say, because it’s an area of interest of mine, is if you don’t feel confident in your practice, say you’re in school and you’ve been through a couple of years of it, and you’re like, “well I still don’t actually know how to build a building.” There’s nothing stopping you from learning how to fill in those gaps in your area of knowledge on your own. This is a very self-driven profession. It’s based on apprenticeship.”
“I guess what a joy it is to feel good at something.” –Christine Williamson on what she knows today that she didn’t know back then
“You want to know in forensics, the number one thing that helps me figure out what is wrong with a building is looking at it.” –Christine Williamson on the resource she can’t live without
“Try not to have deadlines.” –Christine Williamson on her best timesaving trick