CES: What are your top three duties and responsibilities as a Principal at SWA Group?
ES: 1. Master planning and landscape design for campuses, civic sites, and mixed use development, mostly in California. 2. Project management, preparation of written reports, organization of community outreach programs, graphics. 3. Manage the SWA Summer Program and coordinate recruiting for the firm's Sausalito office.
CES: What was your first job?
ES: My first job (besides babysitting and garden work!) was with Sasaki Associates, a design firm near Boston. I learned about the environmental design profession—the skills needed, the types of projects, the work/office environment.
CES: What other early experinces helped shape your career development?
ES: I loved both natural sciences and art when I was at college. Landscape architecture allowed me to integrate the two fields. Also, I was able to travel and explore garden, architectural and landscape architectural design in Europe.
CES: What advice do you have for students hoping to break into architecture?
ES: Draw, sketch, and paint. Travel and sketch what you see. Get a graduate degree in a design field (urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, planning). Pursue an internship with a design and/or planning firm. Build skills in critical thinking, writing, and especially design (form-giving, technical skills such as CAD, sketching, understanding how things get built).