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alumni panel: Vanessa Abram, Safoura Zahedi, Clara Romero, and Jia Lu

10.28.19 – Daniels alumni share insights during 2019's Graduate Open House

This year's Graduate Open House, on October 18, gave prospective graduate students an opportunity to explore One Spadina and learn about the Daniels Faculty's programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and visual studies. A highlight of the day was the alumni panel, where four recent graduates took the Main Hall stage to discuss their experiences at the school.

"I was looking for something that was very interdisciplinary, and that incorporated ecological knowledge, because landscape architecture is very broad," said Jia Lu (MLA 2018). "I didn't want to just be learning a bunch of technical skills that would get me out to the workforce. I also wanted to learn how to think about spatial problems and landscape design problems."

"The Faculty provides a great range of instructors that are interested in a range of research," said Safoura Zahedi (MArch 2016). "Furthermore, there was a strong focus on architectural theory, which balanced the highly technical aspects of my previous program."

The alumni panellists also offered advice to new graduate students. "Don't be afraid to learn from other people, because architecture is one of the few programs that has a studio culture," said Vanessa Abram (MArch 2016). "Take advantage of the community and collective knowledge."

"It's very easy to come to grad school with the same energy that you do in your undergraduate program, complying with what is expected of you," said Clara Romero (MUD 2012). "A lot of the things we explore as students in grad school are things that could shape our professional futures."

In photograph, from left to right: Vanessa Abram, Safoura Zahedi, Clara Romero, and Jia Lu.