Name: Chudi Abajue
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Graduation Year: 2010
Employer: IBI Group
Title: Project Manager
Why did you choose the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, and what drew you to design?
Having a college of architecture in my hometown was convenient, but the quality and diversity of students graduating from the Hines College drew me in. I felt it would be the right fit for me. I appreciated the College's focus on design and providing students with opportunities like the Burdette Keeland, Jr. Design Lab
What is one of your favorite memories from your time on campus?
Going out for drinks with my classmates after our first jury review.
Was there a particular professor that influenced your education?
Susan Rogers – Her passion and insight into architecture and its social and economic effects on the less affluent profoundly impacted me. She also introduced me to "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs, which provided me a different perspective on architecture.
What has been your career path since graduation?
After graduation, I continued working with my current employer, IBI Group, where I have been for 14 years. In my current role as a project manager, I focus on educational design. My time at IBI Group has been a challenging and rewarding professional experience.
What does a typical day look like in your job?
That is a hard question to answer. It really depends. I can be working on developing drawings or I can be coordinating with my project team and consultants or spending my time reviewing submittals from the contractor and having meetings at the job site.
What is one accomplishment in your career of which you are most proud?
It is difficult to narrow it down to one particular accomplishment. I value when I can participate in projects positively affecting communities, such as working on a new women's shelter or renovating a school in a lower-income neighborhood.
How do you feel that the College prepared you for this?
The College helped me establish the mindset that Architecture is not just for the wealthy or the upper class – it is for everyone.
What is a valuable lesson you learned during your time at the Hines College of Architecture and Design?
That is tough, as there is more than just one. One that stands out, however, is "Measure twice, cut once."
What is a piece of advice you would give current Architecture and Design students?
Architecture is an excellent profession with many possibilities. Try and see how you fit into it because you can change the world.