Rhoda Fajardo 3D Rhoda Fajardo 3D: 3 Things I Learned Outside Of Architecture School

Oct 1, 2015

3 Things I Learned Outside Of Architecture School

3 Things I Learned Outside Of Architecture School

Archi students spend hours creating plans, sections and models, reading books and making sure they truly understand the necessary building codes and graphic standards. Unfortunately for me, I’ve been doing this for 11 f*cking years. There. I said it. — DON'T LAUGH.

I'm a very impatient person and I can't sit in a classroom for long hours. Prolly because it was so boring at the time and there were lessons that were way too slow for me that I start zoning into the vortex. I also had this professor who fail half of his class for sport. I've even plotted my revenge, but good thing I'm over it (wait, am I?). Besides, there's a very tiny chance that he'll be my prof again — not unless shit happens (but I really hope not). He's the reason why I filed for a Leave of Absence in the first place (so I can unwind and grieve for my failing grades).

Bitterness aside, I learned a lot of things while I was on LOA. If you've read my about page, then you already know that I've worked in an interior design firm, construction firm, real estate, and even call centers.

#1: Less than 50% of what I've learned in college have been useful in real-life work.

I'm not a very diligent student. Often times, I'm out somewhere playing billiards or jamming with my band mates. But when the situation calls for it, I always know how to find a shortcut in finishing my projects coz I'm street-smart like that.

And this skill (being street-smart that is) IMHO, is very important when you're already out there, in the big corporate world. Especially if you're more book-smart than street-smart. If you're book-smart, then you might have a culture-shock when you start looking for jobs. Most employers don't care about your diploma or your grades. They don't even care if you're lazy, as long as you get shit done. Trust me, I know. (Disclaimer: This is only based on my work experience, okay?)

They care more about how you present yourself and what you look like — I'm not even kidding! Employers will also judge you on how you handle yourself under pressure, for instance when they ask you to redesign their office free-hand or create working drawings from scratch using CAD softwares, fully rendered, and then explain what you've just created. If you pull this off, even if your work looks like shit, there's a big chance you'll get the job.

Most employers don't really like a smart ass.

#2: Most Architecture Firms pay less than Call Centers.

I also worked in a call center at some point and I'm gonna be honest, being a customer service rep wasn't my "dream job", not because the salary sucks, but I just don't like dealing with irate customers from the United States every night. Not all of my calls were bad calls, but sometimes the bad calls just get stuck with you. And all you wanna do with all the bad calls is put the customer on hold for hours so you won't hear them disrespect you and call you whatever. So I did put annoying customers on hold for hours which got me fired. Hahaha! #sorrynotsorry

Maybe this is one of the reasons why call centers pay higher wages (aside from the fact that labor is cheap in 3rd world countries), so they can make up for the emotional and verbal abuse.

#3: Successful Architects have multiple sources of income.

Aside from design and construction services, big-time architects generate passive income from different instruments. Some have built their own real-estate, some go into MLM, some put their money in stocks, some sell construction tools and materials (a hardware store) and some create digital assets. Some do all of the above. The possibilities are endless!

I've seen investors literally knocking on my favorite former employer's door. And they just keep on creating new businesses. It really blows my mind how he became a millionaire in his early 30's. A lot of people really liked him and he's getting free marketing from his clients and peers through word-of-mouth.

I've been studying different entrepreneurs during my LOA and I've been beta-testing their strategies in my own freelance business. Some worked for me, some didn't. I'm still a student, and I may apply the other knowledge I've gathered as soon as I get my hands on my diploma and my license.

I loved lego and puzzles as a kid and I can't wait to put all the pieces together! I've already calculated the investment I need to make this work so I can save myself from expensive disappointments in the future (coz I love being 10 steps ahead). I've been so overwhelmed with info over the years that I can't put my finger on what to hyperfocus on right now.

I guess I have to finish college once and for all!

Coz no matter how I look at it, my college degree is a prerequisite to all of my biggest dreams (even if I've already spent money, blood, sweat and tears on experience).

Howell, so that's just a quick update on my thoughts. I'll try to write more seriously next time. Hehe!

Did you finish college?

If so, were you able to apply all the knowledge you've gained in your life/career/business? If not, what was your course and why did you stop? Did you regret it or was it the best decision you've ever made? Let me know in the comments!

Rhoda Fajardo 3D


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