By: Patrick Londrigan
While in high school I was very into art. I took four years of art, was in art club for four years, and won two national art awards in computer art that took me to Carnegie Hall in New York City. Thinking about my future, while not knowing anything about future careers, I discussed what I could possibly go to college for with my mother. We discussed many career options when landing on two that interested me, graphic design and engineering. Not knowing anything about the two career paths I decided to look into them. At the time I didn’t know anyone in the field of graphic design but I did know a few engineers, so I chose to job shadow a local engineer that I knew to learn more ins and outs about the job. My junior year of high school I job shadowed Mr. Walker of Martin Engineering, a local engineering firm. They were a civil engineering firm that had a lot of business and were hiring many people out of school. In learning that engineering jobs were highly available compared to graphic design jobs I decided to go on the engineering route. After high school I applied to three colleges Western Illinois University, Illinois State University, and Southern Illinois University. I chose to apply Illinois State because it was my father’s alma mater and they had a good graphic design school. Southern Illinois was known for a great engineering program, which is why I chose to apply there and Western Illinois was a back up school incase I couldn’t get into either schools. Southern was the first school that responded back to me and the second I heard back I accepted and applied to there engineering program. Moving down to Carbondale in the fall of 2009 was a big step in my life, never had living away from home, but I was ready to start the next portion of my life. Starting engineering was exciting and I had a few classes in the subject as a freshmen. After starting engineering I found that the classes I was taking was some of the most boring classes I have ever taken and I was losing interest in the subject before even beginning. While thinking of different career paths I spoke with my girl friends father who is currently a licensed architect in the state of Illinois. He told me all about architecture and how the two fields are similar and how the differ. While learning more about the career I began to find how interested I was in the subject and that SIU had a program that recently got accredited. Then after talking with my guidance counselor I chose to switch into the architecture program half way through my freshman year. I started taking actually architecture courses my sophomore year and it was fantastic. What I found in architecture was everything I was looking for in engineering and I am so grateful that I made that switch.