Conrad acknowledges that out of all his choices he decided on Vermont Tech because, in his words, “I would gain practical insight into architectural engineering and because it was the most affordable option.”
Conrad was not disappointed. He enjoyed his time at Vermont Tech while pursuing his associate degree in Architectural & Building Engineering Technology. “I learned how to use Revit and AutoCAD. In my design classes, I also learned how to communicate technical drawings such as wall assembly sections, electrical wiring plans, plumbing layouts, and demolition plans while ensuring that all designs are clear and presentable. This experience gave me a more practical understanding of how a building is constructed.”
Conrad is grateful for the personal and in-depth approach of his professors, sharing, “…during my final semester at Vermont Tech, I attended a course called Technical Communication, taught by Professor Alexis Paige. The purpose of this course was to learn analytical writing and demonstrate what we had learned by writing an analytical report. She dedicated much of her time in and outside of class, meeting individually with all of her students, and even gave me the sense that she respected my writing style when suggesting ways I could improve. If you wish to learn more about his analytical report, the final draft is shared: Determining the Eligibility of Danville Station.
He also appreciates the feedback and personal interest professors took in student projects. Including Architectural Design I & II instructor, Professor Andrew Larosa, “In this course, we were given a variety of scenarios ranging from designing a chicken coop to designing modifications for a summer camp pavilion, to redesigning Old Dorm and Keenan. Each of these scenarios came with a unique set of challenges that needed to be overcome through our designs. What I appreciated the most about Prof. LaRosa’s mode of teaching was that he was able to speak at length about each of his student’s designs and by turns, give each student genuine praise and valuable criticism. When he pointed out where a design fell short, he presented his criticism by giving plausible alternatives, which could have the potential of enhancing other areas of the design rather than dismissing the student’s concept altogether. Architectural design I & II were two of the most enjoyable courses I took during my time at Vermont Tech, which strengthened my enthusiasm for studying Architecture.”
Conrad’s words of advice to incoming and current students are:
- Show courtesy by regarding the time of your professors and tutors as if it is your own. When frustrated by a difficult question or problem on an assignment, struggle with it a little longer than you normally would before asking for help. Professors and tutors will feel more inclined to help, knowing that you have already tried multiple solutions, as time is inestimable.
- If you have not yet bought all your books, call the library to ask if they have any of the required books on loan. One can save hundreds of dollars by spending time in the library reading the assigned chapters or writing down homework questions.
- The number of assignments will increase rapidly after the first week so begin your assignments as soon as you receive them starting with the assignments you receive in the first week. If you complete them early, your professor or tutor might be willing to look them over before you submit them, and you will be guaranteed to pass.
- Lastly, go to tutoring even if you are not struggling, as tutors can be immensely helpful in finding mistakes and suggesting more expedient ways of solving difficult math problems. Remember to thank them as well.
Conrad contributes his soft skills in leadership, intellectual curiosity, and determination to his time in Vermont Tech’s Multicultural Club. “I worked with the club’s vice president and treasurer to organize weekly club events such as bringing students to historic parks, landmarks, museums, comedy clubs, and performances. The Multicultural Club gave me first-hand experience at being a leader and a team player.” See more about clubs and VTC student life.
Conrad was hired at S.A. Fishburn Inc. after graduation, where he restored plaster and windows on seven historic Vermont landmarks like West Brookfield Meetinghouse, St. Catherine of Siena in Shelburne, the Braintree Meetinghouse, the Marvin Newton house in Brookfield, and many others.
You can find out more about Conrad’s employment at S.A. Fishburn Inc. or his volunteer work for the Danville Train Station Committee on Conrad’s Portfolio.