Friday, June 17, 2011


As I approach the completion of my fifteenth full year as an architect, I've had a chance to reflect on my beginnings here at the firm.  It turns out that I never actually interviewed for a job here.  Not many people can say this, but my mother interviewed for me. 

In May of 1995, I was completing a semester abroad.  At that time, RLPS was extremely busy, having just started work on the largest project the firm had ever done in Florida as well as many other large projects.  There were already three interns on board for the summer, which I think was a record for that time.  Based on the word of mouth from the other three interns, who consequently also attended Penn State, a call was placed from this office to my parents house to inquire about procuring my services as a summer intern. 

My mother took the initiative to schedule a meeting with one of our partners and to gather up my unfinished portfolio and what she could find of my transcripts.  Without any preparation or coaching, she proceeded to present my work and sell my services to the firm.  The only background she had to aid her in the explanation of my work was what little I had told her about it well over six month earlier.  Anyone who knows my mother knows that she is not particularly a visual minded person, but somehow she managed to make enough of an impression that I was hired sight unseen upon my arrival back in the States.

The lesson learned here is always be nice to your mother, because no one can lay it on as well as Mom.

1 comment:

  1. I am really enjoying your posts James. You are a great writer.