Women of Sparkflight Studios


Women Building Nevada Symposium Recap

On March 31, 2023, the AIA Las Vegas Chapter hosted the annual Women in Architecture Building Nevada Symposium, at the Blind Center of Nevada. We were honored to have our staff participate during the breakout sessions. Gabrielle and Natalie joined the panel for the "Early Career - Transitioning from School to Firms".
Highlights from the discussion included:
  • Individual experiences with job hunting.
  • Involvement with organizations during school that helped with professional development (importance of networking, which oftentimes helps more than what's on your portfolio or resume).
  • Things we wished we knew/worked on during school that would've been useful during this transition period (getting used to having focused work time vs. working sporadically throughout the day; putting yourself out there more/taking more chances; have a better understanding of construction documentation). 
  • Session was with a smaller group of about 10-12 people, which allowed for more natural conversation and participation. 

  • Other panelists included Michelle Tapia, Assoc. AIA, Project Lead at GRN Vision, and Ploy Mungrueangsakul, AIA, Architect at Burke Special Projects. 
  • Participants ranged from a first year UNLV student to UNLV faculty (Associate Professor Deborah Oakley joined the session; she taught Gabi, Michelle, and Ploy during their time at the UNLV School of Architecture).


Key takeaways from the full conference included:

  • Hearing from representatives from different municipalities and the work that is being done to elevate and contribute to Nevada's various communities. 
  • Even though we may be competitors, there is a remarkable generosity in our professional community to share knowledge and experience.

More photos and video from the event, courtesy of Anne Johnson and Natalie Perez.

left to right: Natalie Perez, Gabrielle Fernandez

left to right: Gabrielle Fernandez, Michelle Tapia, Vivianna (UNLV Student)

right: Ruddy Rodriguez (GRN Vision)


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