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AIAS College Fair! You need this!
by Katy Purviance on 08/28/08 @ 09:51:22 pm
Categories: Events, Applying to Grad School | 678 words | 5498 views

I just got the Official email from the AIAS about this year’s College and Career Fair.

If you’re looking for an architecture school YOU NEED TO GO TO THIS.

I went to the one last year here in LA. Let me tell you what I did there that greatly helped my grad school application.

For some reason, I didn’t even find out about last year’s College Fair until two days beforehand. I didn’t have a lot of time, so here’s what I did to make good use of my time there:

1. I called in sick to work.
2. I took the portfolio pages that my wonderful professor, Bill Taylor at LAIAD, had us do.
3. I made up a few more portfolio pages of some other projects I had done.
4. I hurried over to Kinko’s to print every thing out (This was before a traumatizing experience made me break down and actually purchase a printer.)
5. I hurried over to some art store and bought one of those portfolio things with the plastic pages sewn in.
6. I put the print outs into the portfolio and realized that I had a few more prints than pages, so I put the rest into the back pocket.
7. (THE IMPORTANT PART) I brought the portfolio with me to the College Fair and asked a number of schools to review it. I explicitly asked for detailed feedback. I do not like the answer “It’s good.” I wanted them to tell me EXACTLY what I could do to make it more compelling.
8. I made sure I introduced myself. I made sure I got the person’s card. I thanked them for their advice.
9. I took notes on who said what for reference later.

I had no idea at the time to what school’s I’d apply. I showed my portfolio mock-up to schools in which it turned out I had very little interest, as well as the schools that ended up accepting me, many months later.

So here’s the 411:

For the fourth year in a row, high school and college students and their parents from around North America will have the opportunity to meet with school representatives to explore the exciting careers and educational opportunities available in architecture and other design disciplines. In conjunction with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the AIAS will host a Architecture College and Career Expo on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. The event will be held on Saturday, September 20, 2008.

Please pre-register online (it’s free!) so we can keep you informed about the event

Schedule of Events
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Student Registration
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Keynote Presentation
11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. School Exhibits Open
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop #1: Choosing an Undergraduate and Graduate Program
12:30 - 1:00 p.m. Architecture Informational Session
1:00 - 1:30 p.m Interior Design Informational Session
1:30 - 2:00 p.m. Landscape Architecture Informational Session
2:00 - 2:30 p.m. Urban Design/Planning Informational Session
2:30 - 3:15 p.m. Workshop #2A: A Day in the Life of an Architect (panel discussion)
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Workshop #2B: New Techniques in Design Research
Times TBD Mies Society Tours

Please click here for further details about the event (you will be directed to our partner’s Web site). There you can find the list of participating schools, information on parking, driving directions and more).

The AIAS will host another Expo during FORUM, our annual convention. At that event, students will learn more about graduate schools and meet with representatives of various building products and software manufacturers. Additional information for attendees and exhibitors can be found at

For additional information or questions on these two events, please contact the AIAS at 202.626.7472 or

American Institute of Architecture Students
T 202.626.7472

PS. You know what almost every school told me about my portfolio? That it looked like several different people had but it together. I had thought a non-uniform design scheme would be cool, but because I heard that constructive criticism so many times, I totally revamped my portfolio layout. I was glad I did.

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