How I found a calling and launched a career in KC

I’m originally from Venezuela, grew up in Trinidad and Tobago and graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s in architecture. Needless to say, I’ve hopped around,so starting over in new places no longer fazes me.

But when it came to choosing the setting for my next chapter after graduation, Kansas City was not on my radar. The more traditional career opportunities for an East Coast grad presented themselves – Boston, New York and DC – yet something about Populous drew me in.

My first interview with the firm felt less like an interview and more like a casual coffee meetup. Sitting across from me was Meg Rand, a recent Syracuse graduate herself, who shared her experience one year into a career at Populous. It included plenty of personal and professional growth, all the while designing amazing stadiums, arenas and other spaces that draw the masses together.

Kansas City was the unknown for me. I didn’t know what to expect since I had heard close to nothing about the place. Populous continued to make me feel like part of their family by bringing me in to experience the city and the firm’s amazing Americas headquarters in the South Plaza neighborhood. This trip is what confirmed it for me. The culture I saw within Populous, the people and the office itself, all of them left me counting down the days until my next encounter.

I started my time with Populous as part of the Studio group, a fast-paced, diverse and young group of people who learn quickly, speak their mind, listen and have a good time. Studio helped me quickly expand my repertoire of projects and collaborate with almost every team within our office. I’ve also loved bonding over happy hours, pop-up bars and team dinners.

Since transitioning to arena design recently, my work has taken me to Denver, Atlanta and Washington D.C. The travel has been a familiar friend – and representing Populous across the country has been incredibly rewarding – but at the end of the day, I can’t wait to get back to Kansas City and the Populous family.

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