Architecture Alumni Reflects on Education and Current Employment

Architecture Graduate Chosen for Alumni of the Quarter

Joscelyn Hagenss, architecture drafting and design alumna standing outside her employer VAA, LLC.

Alumni of the Quarter Joscelyn Hageness graduated with her architectural drafting and design associate degree in the fall of 2013. She reflects on her education at NTI School of Technology Globe University, her current position at VAA, LLC, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm that serves agricultural, industrial and architectural clients throughout the continental United States and Canada, as well as shares some wisdom with current and future architectural drafting and design students.

“Joscelyn was an extraordinary student,” said, John Hartman, architectural drafting and design program chair. “As her architecture instructor, I have seen many examples of Joscelyn’s drafting, CAD and design talent and have long been impressed by her diligence and work ethic.”

Where are you employed and what is your position?

I’m currently employed at VAA, LLC in Plymouth, Minnesota, as a technician where I work in the buildings group. I create construction documents for grain storage facilities built throughout the Midwest. I use Revit 3D to model and create these construction documents.

How long have you been with your current employer? How did you get to this point?

I have been employed with VAA, LLC since March 2013. This opportunity has allowed me to take on leadership roles and share insight on new initiatives to help diversify our company. I believe I am at this point because I’m motivated and well-trained, which keeps you going and striving for more.

Why did you want to go into the architectural field?

At first, I didn’t think the architectural field was right for me. I had many doubts and after I came to the conclusion that I have always had a passion for it, I realized this is what I want to do. Ever since I was young, I would draw up rooms and draw up how I wanted to rearrange that room. I would draw multiple scenarios to try to find the best design. I never realized this would one day lead me to an amazing career.

What are your long-term goals in your career field?

Being employed at VAA, LLC has opened my eyes to the opportunities this company can give you if you work hard enough. We recently promoted a gentleman who went to NTI School of Technology Globe University and has an associate degree, and he is now a partner at our firm. After learning that, I have realized that my long-term goal for my career and for this company is to be the first female partner.

Was there anything particular on your resume that helped you get the position you are at now?

It’s not just what is on your resume that can help you land a job—it’s what you have to offer them and what you can do to better their company. I realized that having goals and being there for others can lead you to some places you never thought you could be.

What did you like most about your time at NTI School of Technology Globe University?

My time at NTI School of Technology Globe University made me step out of my comfort zone, and that is something I cannot thank them enough for. I am now able to speak in front of groups and take on roles I never thought I could. Also, having instructors who push you past your limits is not always a bad thing. It keeps you going and shows you that you can do more than you think you can.

What is your advice for current students going into the architectural field?

Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can! I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone and spoke to a man looking for help to archive files at his architecture firm. You will never know what opportunities come from just one conversation.