Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Becoming an Architecture Graduate Student

By: Ethan Brammeier

Hello everybody!  My name is Ethan Brammeier and I am a current graduate student in the architecture program here at SIUC. 

For my first post I will tell you about my path into architecture and also my experience here as a student.

I believe most architects can say they were destined to be an architect from a very young age.  At that point in my life, my parents supplied me with a large amount of LEGO’s and K’NEX for me to play with during my long summer vacations.  I believe this sparked my fascination with the art of building and design. 

Throughout my high school career at Nashville Community High School, I took as many shop classes and drafting classes as I could.  My junior year I took my first architectural drafting class and I became hooked.  Once I got home I downloaded all the free software I could find so I could further my knowledge of the programs while away from school.  Following my junior year I started working for DBG Construction in Nashville and it was probably the best learning experience that I’ve had.  That first summer marked the first of four years that I worked for the company.  I believe working construction also helped lead me to where I am today.  I learned how an entire building was put together from start to finish and also understood how architectural drawings were laid out.  From this point I knew I wanted to major in architecture. 

After high school I was debating on going straight to SIUC or go to Rend Lake Community College for two years.  I decided to go to Rend Lake College for two years because it was close to home and I would only have class two or three days a week.  This allowed me to work construction on my days off for another two years.  While attending Rend Lake College I was taught by two great teachers, Kevin Weston and Matt Jackson, who taught me everything I needed to know before I transferred to Carbondale.  Kevin’s twenty years of teaching experience and Matt being a recent architecture grad student from SIUC gave me an advantage making the transition between colleges.  The last experience I took from Rend Lake was competing in the Skills USA National Competition in architecture the summer before I came to Carbondale. 

I decided to complete my education at Carbondale for multiple reasons.  First off, it was close to home and my brother was a recent graduate from the college.  During my senior year of high school I visited SIUC’s campus and was given a tour of the architecture building.  When I saw all of the models and other work that the students produced, it made me want to do the same. 
The last reason I chose to attend college here was because the price for the education you receive is hard to beat.  Now that I am currently a grad student here, I can look back and say I made the right choices.

My experience at this campus and specifically in the school of architecture has been very rewarding.  When I look back at the work I produced when I first started here to what I’m producing now is quite shocking.  It goes to show that what I’ve been taught here has really paid off and helped me at becoming a better student.   Before my senior year I started working at a local firm in Carbondale and am still there to this day.  Working there has really given me a true understanding of what the profession is actually like.  Between my teachers, classmates and co-workers to help me along the way, I know I will get the best out of my education at SIUC. 

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