Mock interviews with Board of Fellows, online job fair scheduled

The School of Architecture+Art, part of Norwich University’s College of Professional Schools, will hold three events this month to prepare students for job interviews and career searches. 

The first event, running 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, is a résumé and portfolio drop-in session with professors Tolya Stonorov and Matthew Lutz. Students can get evaluations of their work and get presentation tactics. Architecture students can join here.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 12, the school will hold a Board of Fellows interview workshop, featuring Mike Tuck ’96, owner of Albany, New York-based Balzer+Tuck Architecture; Kim Conant M’96, associate project coordinator at State University Construction Fund in Albany, New York; Will Lewis, ’04, M’05, chairman of the university’s Architecture+Art Endowment Committee and executive officer, U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency; Peter Morante ’69 of Morante Energy Consulting; Daniele Mannucci ’00, associate principal at Chicago-based Wright Heerema Architects; and Steve Lewkowicz ’73, the retired chief financial officer of Wireless Zone-Automotive Technologies.

“The ability to talk one on one with someone introduces the students to (architecture firms) in a completely different way than sending an email or a portfolio (would).” Tolya Stonorov, associate director, Norwich University School of Architecture+Art

Stonorov, the School of Architecture+Art’s associate director, said students will receive invitations to the Board of Fellows event, which will feature mock job interviews, by email.

Lewis, who helped organize the Board of Fellows event, has said he believes architecture will factor importantly in re-engineering America’s built environment for life after the coronavirus pandemic. 

architecture events 3 min
Tolya Stonorov, an associate professor of architecture at Norwich University and a practicing architect, evaluates a student portfolio during a virtual session in fall 2020. (Screenshot from GoToMeeting video.)

“It’s the students on the Hill right now who are learning the interdisciplinary concepts, and who will advance the understanding required, to solve these immense challenges,” Lewis, who designs, evaluates and oversees the construction of world-class military and civilian hospitals, said in the 2020 School of Architecture+Art Endowment annual report. 

The final event, the Norwich Architecture Career Fair, will run 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 26. Stonorov said 15 architecture firms have expressed interest in participating in the fair, though the final roster isn’t yet final. A live sign-up sheet will let students sign up for appointment times during the fair, she said.

Norwich Architecture+Art students helped to organize the virtual job fair, Stonorov said, particularly seniors Victoria Geraw, Brendan Maxson and Allie Austin. Students present and past have also participated in important civic projects including the Design+Build Collaborative’s LIFT houses, two tiny, energy-efficient affordable dwellings in Barre, Vermont, and outdoor classrooms, including NEST at Union Elementary School in Montpelier, which won awards from the New England and Vermont chapters of the American Institute of Architects. But even with these experiences, students still need to job hunt after graduation.

Stonorov said letting career-seeking architecture students interact with professionals and firms matters always. But, she added, these meetings may offer an extra boost now, given the pandemic-forced physical distancing and isolation.

“Our (email) inboxes are flooded, now more than ever because we can’t meet in person,” Stonorov said. “And so, the ability to talk one on one with someone introduces the students to that firm in a completely different way than sending an email or a portfolio (would).

“And there’s the financial reality that the whole country is going through; the whole country is hurting from this pandemic,” she added, “and we want to do everything we can as a school to help our students get really good jobs.”


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