“There’s always a culture of people helping each other out … [The staff] is spread throughout the country, but it’s one entity in how it collaborates.”

When you were interviewing for a position, what did you find attractive about Thornton Tomasetti?
I was interviewing with a few firms that had their practice based on an architectural department or on a strictly structural department. I did like Thornton Tomasetti better because of the kind of projects it was working on at that time. It really attracted me. I felt like the reputation that Thornton Tomasetti has with the kind of projects –the portfolio of projects, high rises or civic centers – they’re famous. And for someone as an employee to work for Thornton Tomasetti, I would be proud to represent that firm who does cool projects or interesting projects.

What are your current responsibilities as a designer?
On a day-to-day basis it really varies. Sometimes I’m just doing 3-D models. Sometimes I’m creating construction documents out of those 3-D models. It’s interesting. It’s never the same.

How would you describe Thornton Tomasetti’s culture?
The first thing that comes to my mind, I would say it’s collaborative. There’s always a culture of people helping each other out, even if it’s a project that’s not your project. A project may be in New York, but there are people working from the Kansas City office on it. There are people working from the Chicago office on it. It’s spread out throughout the country, but it’s one entity in terms of how it collaborates. Having that opportunity to use someone else’s expertise is great.

Why should someone consider Thornton Tomasetti?
It’s very innovative. It has changed and evolved itself through how the economy has changed. It never stuck with its traditional design / structural firm approach. And that’s what really attracted me, because that tells me there’s growth for the firm; there’s growth for myself. You can always find discussions – productive discussions – by the pantry or in front of the restrooms, where you can learn. While you’re discussing with your coworker, you might bring up a project that you’re working on, and from that you might get a brilliant idea. It might be the light bulb at that time. That’s what I really like about the environment in Thornton Tomasetti.

Can you give an example of when Thornton Tomasetti challenged you to grow?
A good example is when I moved to the Irvine office. One of the first things I did was go for a field investigation, which I had never done before. So it was a new thing for me, because I was a fairly recent graduate from school, and I hadn’t had that chance to go on a site visit and look at actual construction. They took me to that project even though I hadn’t have that experience before, because they understood the value of me gaining that experience so that I can use it for future projects.

What is your personal career path?
I have a goal, a career goal where I can grow myself. Thornton Tomasetti has the opportunity to provide me with that, and –through communication with my project leader or whoever I’m working closely with – they figure out a way to look around the firm and see if they can provide me with that opportunity.