College Network Jumpstarts Alumnus’ Career in California

Hines Leadership Council connects alumnus Josh Probst to top product design firm and engineering development company

Josh Probst '19

When Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design alumnus Josh Probst graduated in 2019, he probably never imagined the world awaiting him. With many successes following his graduation, Probst was still waiting to land his dream job. That’s where Hines College Leadership Council member Robert Del’Ve entered the picture.

During a quarterly Leadership Council meeting, Del’Ve, a design industry veteran, was quite impressed by Probst’s work. Following the meeting, Patricia Belton Oliver, FAIA, connected Del’Ve with Probst, and the rest was history. The Leadership Council member connected the alumnus with a prominent industry contact, launching his industrial designer career at RKS in Thousand Oaks, California. 

The Leadership Council is an integral part of the College’s industry connections and external reach. Its membership comprises professionals in architecture, interior architecture, industrial design, construction, real estate, and other industries integral to Houston’s design community.  As advocates of the Hines College, Council members help bridge the gap between industry and academia, helping move the College forward and prepare students for successful careers.

“It’s so hard for all students to find that ‘perfect fit’ after they graduate,” said Robert Del’Ve, Managing Director of Project Management at CBRE. “Josh and I had similar passions for industrial design, and I had several contacts within the industry I could put him in touch with. Ravi Sawhney, the founder and CEO of RKS, is a dear friend of mine, so I sent him Josh’s CV and set up a call between the two of them.”

After completing an internship with the firm, Probst officially became a full-time industrial designer at RKS in March 2021. RKS is a design and innovation firm consulting with clients and engaging in various day-to-day work, including research, computer-aided design, and prototyping. 

“I would highly encourage future students to get internships to prepare them for the real world and help them make connections within the industry,” shared Probst. “Understanding where you want to go and what connections can help you get there is essential.”

In Probst’s spare time, he is designing a new concept utilizing a 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 with the idea that gas motorcycles will one day become obsolete. In 2020, Probst was recognized as the “Emerging Product Designer of the Year” at the DNA Paris Design Awards for his motorcycle design, MAYA.

“I had no idea that designing the motorcycle for my thesis back in 2019 would lead me to California”, shared Probst. “I am extremely grateful for Robert Del’Ve and Professor EunSook Kwon." 

“From the next generation of designers, I hope to see the passion and a desire to better processes, experiences, or designs that make something better for the environment, easier to use, and simpler to understand,” shared Del’ve. “Josh gained the desire, passion, and knowledge he needed through the Hines College’s ID program, and it has been a pleasure working with him through his journey.”