How does CAPLA help students find jobs? The largest Job Interview Fair so far opens doors.

March 21, 2022
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CAPLA Job Interview Fair

The 12th Annual College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture Job Interview Fair, made possible by the Chasse Building Team and 22 other sponsors, was held February 10-11, 2022. For the first time, the interactive two-day event took place both online and in person.

Each spring, the CAPLA Job Interview Fair provides a unique experience where students can meet with employers and firms across the country to get a sense of the broad array of built environment careers. 

A total of 42 employers participated in this year’s event, each providing students the opportunity to learn critical interviewing skills and share their portfolios. Representatives from several firms were CAPLA alumni who were eager to engage and help guide current students. For many of these students, it was the first time they interviewed in a professional capacity. 

While CAPLA students in architecture, landscape architecture, real estate development, sustainable built environments and urban planning gained insight into the variety of organizations and their internships and career positions, companies gained perspective on new talent entering the workforce.
 

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CAPLA Job Interview Fair

 
“It’s important for professionals to provide balanced, real-world opportunities to students while in school and provide such pathways even during the pandemic,” says Aaron Tsosie, project captain with
SPS+ Architects. “We felt honored to have several students choose to interview with us as their first interview experience ever, and we were happy to provide feedback and build confidence during an important time in their lives.” 

Students did not shy away. A total of 145 students participated—105 undergraduate and 40 graduate. With the flexibility of the new hybrid format, a total of 536 interviews were held, CAPLA’s largest turnout yet. 

“This was my second year participating in the Job Interview Fair, and I had a very positive experience,” says Bachelor of Architecture student Mikaela Ritter, who will graduate in May 2024. “I had already been considering which firms I wanted to apply to for summer internships, and this was a great way for me to get to know the firms.”

The Job Interview Fair not only allows students to practice their interview skills, but it also serves as a recruiting forum for firms. Many were especially interested in graduates and interns who are versed in sustainability when it comes to planning, design, development and construction.
 

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CAPLA Job Interview Fair

 
“Even in my days at CAPLA many years ago, there was a strong focus on sustainable building practices, and now that the industry as a whole is embracing sustainability more broadly, it is advantageous to recruit from a program with a track record in green building,” says Chris Armer, commercial studio director and vice president of Kansas City-based
Hoefer Welker. “The students we met with were well-prepared and showed themselves and their work in a very professional manner.”

“I learned a lot about the architecture industry and careers while interviewing, and got a pulse on things that might be hard to research online,” says Ritter. “For example: how offices in different cities might work together, or the differences between varying types of career focuses. It was really insightful for my own professional development.”

“I am grateful to our sponsors and other participating employers, many from across the country,” says CAPLA Dean Nancy Pollock-Ellwand. “The variety of firms and organizations ensures that students have the chance to meet with employers in their field.”

“Many colleges host career fairs,” adds Pollock-Ellwand. “But the work our staff has done to make this an educational and professional development experience sets the CAPLA Job Interview Fair apart.”


Organizations interested in sponsoring CAPLA's 13th Annual Job Interview Fair in February 2023 may contact Angie Smith, director of development, at angiesmith@arizona.edu or 520-621-2608.

  

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