Go For It with Natasha Ayala Mercado

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Natasha Ayala

Natasha’s story begins in Puerto Rico. She grew up in a family of five and lived in a small house, and as a child, she would think about how she would design the space differently. She drew plans for houses, picking out things like where her bedroom would be.

Around the time Natasha was in middle school, someone pointed out to her that all of those drawings were plans or blueprints – they were architecture. That’s what gave Natasha the idea that becoming an architect was the career path for her. And once she made that decision, she didn’t waver – she’d decided to become an architect and she was going to follow that path, come what may. 

In today’s interview, Natasha talks about leaving Puerto Rico for Virginia Beach, what her job is now, and what her experience has been like preparing for her AREs. She also talks about ARE boot camp, the Young Architect Conference, and the Summer Series [YASS2020] workshop that she’s agreed to do. 

What You’ll Hear on This Episode  

  • What inspired Natasha to go into architecture
  • How Natasha came to Virginia Beach
  • Where Natasha is working now
  • What kinds of projects Natasha is working on now
  • How the coronavirus affected Natasha’s ARE plans
  • Friendships Natasha established in ARE boot camp
  • Natasha’s experience at the Young Architect Conference
  • Natasha’s workshop for the summer series
  • Natasha’s advice for aspiring architects
  • What Natasha knows now that she didn’t know then
  • The book that changed everything for Natasha
  • The resource Natasha can’t live without
  • Natasha’s best time-saving trick
  • Where listeners can find Natasha

Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode

  1. When you know what you want to do, go for it.
  2. Don’t hesitate to take action.
  3. Keep in mind that school is very different from the professional world.

Natasha Ayala’s Advice for Aspiring Architects

“First, you gotta go for it. If you want to study architecture don’t do the long run, just go straight to it. And don’t let anybody push you around. Finish what you started.”

Favorite Quotes

“School is very very very different from real-life jobs.” –Natasha Ayala on what she knows today that she didn’t know back then

“Last summer, before the Young Architect Conference, I read The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins.” Natasha Ayala on the book that changed everything

“I can’t live without something to write.” Natasha Ayala on the resource she can’t live without

“My best time-saving trick is keep a planner, write down your to-do list every day, and make sure you back up your work.”  Natasha Ayala on her best time-saving trick

Resources Mentioned in the Show:

Natasha Ayala


Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, and the creator of Young Architect, an online platform and community dedicated to helping the next generation of Architects become the most successful generation of Architects. 
Connect: Linkedin / Facebook / Instagram

Hi there!

I’m Michael Riscica, the guy behind Young Architect. I write to help Architecture Students, ARE Candidates and Young Architecture Professionals be more successful at school, work and life!


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