In February, Austin McNaughton and Pablo Hernandez represented Shah Kawasaki Architects at UC Berkeley’s annual Environmental Design (CED) Career Fair.
Both McNaughton and Hernandez are graduates of CED themselves, and Hernandez had even joined the firm after visiting the fair in 2018. “Having been to the career fair several times before, as an undergraduate and a graduate student, I thought it was great to talk to the students,” Hernandez says. “It was refreshing to see their work.”
Dozens of other architecture and related design firms also attended the event, held in the university’s Pauley Ballroom. “We laid out a series of SKA projects on our table for students to look at,” McNaughton says. “They would come by individually or in groups, and Pablo or I would give them the spiel about our firm. We had the chance to review undergraduate and graduate portfolios and resumes, respond to their questions, give them feedback on their work, and talk about what we look for in our employees. I was impressed with the design skills I saw.”
Hernandez agrees: “CED teaches students to put together a strong portfolio. I appreciated the conceptual strengths of their designs.”
One unexpected bonus: a number of the undergraduates had studied one of Shah Kawasaki’s buildings, Fireboat Station 35, in a class, says Hernandez. “They were eager to talk with us about it and asked us a lot of specific questions. That was really fun.”