Marsha McDonald decided to pursue a career in architecture at the age of 13. When she was in school in Jamaica, students were required to decide on certain subjects to pursue in high school based on the careers they wanted. Marsha took a career assessment test, and architecture was one of the two professions that she scored highest in. It also touched on a lot of subjects that she had interest in, so she decided that was the career to pursue.
Marsha attended the Caribbean School of Architecture in Jamaica and earned a bachelor’s degree. She came to the US to pursue her M. Arch, but didn’t do so right away. She spent some time working in construction and in interior design, got married, and had children. Then she enrolled in Florida International University and returned to her pursuit of a career in architecture.
At FIU, Marsha has also done a lot of research into community and culture in architecture, with a focus on Latin American and the Caribbean culture, urban spaces and sustainable design. In today’s podcast episode, she talks about the takeaways from that research, her own work in communities, and how to set young people up for success in the architecture field.
What You’ll Hear on This Episode
- What inspired Marsha to go into architecture
- Marsha’s architecture school experience
- Marsha’s experience as one of only a few black architecture students
- The takeaways from Marsha’s research at FIU
- Marsha’s involvement in her community and other communities
- Projects that Marsha has done with children and young people
- How Marsha juggles parenting and architecture
- Marsha’s architecture conference
- What Marsha thinks could be done better to set young people up for success
- Marsha’s advice for aspiring architects
- What Marsha knows now that she didn’t know then
- The book that changed everything for Marsha
- Marsha’s favorite resource, product, or gadget
- Marsha’s best timesaving trick
- Where listeners can find Marsha online
Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode
- It’s never to early to map out your career path
- Project management tools can help you with overall time management
- Have confidence that you belong in the spaces you want to be in
Marsha McDonald’s Advice for Aspiring Architects
“If architecture is the goal, then map out as much as you can from early.”
“I am more confident in myself.” –Marsha McDonald on what he knows today that he didn’t know back then
“Really, I read this book by Glen Murcutt, who is an Australian Architect, one of my faves.” –Marsha McDonald on the book that changed everything
“I’ve really started getting into software and using software and project management softwares.” –Marsha McDonald on her favorite resource or gadget
“Believe it or not, I have these, I call it like these pockets of activity, and I would arrange what I can get done in 15-minute pockets, 30-minute pockets, and an hour pocket.” –Marsha McDonald on her best timesaving trick.
Resources Mentioned in the Show: