Creating Career Paths for Architecture Students

Students at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Architecture, Planning & Public Affairs (CAPPA) now have a new professional development opportunity available to them. Page Senior Associate and adjunct UTA professor Ricardo Munoz worked with David Timothy Rader, Rachel Fisher and Miguel Mendez of the school’s AIAS (AIA Students) chapter to create an inaugural mentorship program. AIAS members studying at CAPPA are being paired with architecture professionals from the greater Dallas/Fort Worth region to help develop professional relationships and create a dialogue between academia and the profession.

Seven other Page employees are supporting their colleague’s efforts by participating in the new CAPPA Architecture Mentorship Program (CAMP_Pro). They will offer guidance to their mentees regarding professional practice, coursework, transitions to professional life, and other pertinent topics. By meeting at the Page office in historic downtown Dallas, the students will get first-hand looks at what it can be like to work for a large, multidisciplinary firm.

The program recently kicked off with a mixer that had over 50 people in attendance. Over 20 pairs of previously matched students and professionals were able to begin getting to know each other, and will continue meeting at least once a month at the mentor’s office. While participation in the program is voluntary, both students and would-be mentors must undergo an application process. Both commit to making the time to meet regularly with their matched counterpart. Students agree to attend at least two AIA events per semester while professionals are to participate in at least two CAPPA "mixer" events each semester.

This program is an exciting milestone for UT Arlington as 2016 will be the first full year in which CAPPA has been in existence. As the only accredited architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture programs in North Texas, the School of Architecture was integrated with the School of Urban and Public Affairs into CAPPA last year. The next CAMP_Pro mixer will be held April 18.