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Javier Martín de la Fuente

Alumni Story

Javier was born in Jaén and raised in Segovia. He obtained his Bachelor in Architecture in 2019 from IE University after having studied one semester abroad at the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS). During his five years at IE, he completed internships at AL_A (Amanda Levete Architects), London; EMBT – Miralles Tagliabue, Barcelona; and SHoP Architects, New York. Since October 2019, he has been working as a Designer for SHoP Architects, where he has collaborated on a handful of projects, but mainly has been part of the design team for the winning proposal for the new Atlassian Headquarters in Sydney, Australia (to be constructed by 2023).
POSITION

Designer at SHoP Architects

Nationality

Spanish

Current Location

New York, USA

Q&A WITH JAVIER

Could you tell us about the application process and how you got your current role?
After my internship at SHoP Architects, I tried to keep in contact with people from the office and keep them updated on my studies and coming graduation. Once I graduated, and with the support of some of the IE Staff, I formally applied for a full-time position at the firm. After exchanging some emails and waiting anxiously for some time, I finally got the job offer that made me move to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

How did your experience at IEU prepare you for your professional career?
I feel that the balance between pushing for very creative designs, while keeping a certain technical and realistic approach to projects helped me develop two of the main skills that an architect should have.

What is the competitive advantage that studying at IEU provides or has provided you?
Connection. I feel like IEU opened the doors for me to discover the world and build connections and relationships with people and institutions from all around the world, whether it was giving me the chance to study abroad, do internships anywhere in the world, or simply allowing me to meet people from many different places around the globe.

Do you have any advice for IEU students and alumni who are looking to pursue a career in architecture?
Do not limit yourself to your preferred option. Right now, we are part of a saturated market, and sometimes it is hard to get your dream job right after graduation. Taking other jobs while looking for that dream job will not hurt and will give you a lot of experience that will help you grow as a professional.

What skills do you consider are needed to succeed in architecture and design?
Of course, strong design skills, but also communication, networking, and the ability to be a team player.

Tell us about the IEU alumni community and the impact they have had in your life and/or career.
Since moving to NYC after graduating, I have been invited to several IE events, as well as connecting with certain IE alumni living in the city, which made it easier for me to integrate after I first moved.

Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IEU alumni community?
I believe that staying in contact with people with whom you might have something to offer and from whom you might be able to gain something, whether it is knowledge, relationships, a job, etc., is always important. The IEU alumni community is formed by people that have something significant in common with you, making it always easier to relate.

What skills would you recommend job seekers develop in order to make them more competitive in today’s workforce?
Definitely keeping up to date with all the important software that is used in the industry. Apart from that, I would say that communication is the best skill to develop, both verbal and graphic communication. Being able to convince people or make them understand what you have to say is a key skill that can take you very far in this profession.

What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?
I cannot remember where I heard this, but I would say that the best career advice I have ever been given is: Do not think that the architect can solve every single problem. Most of the times, the problems that we try to solve, are issues that we have created ourselves.

If someone was considering going to IEU, what would you tell them?
I would say go for it! I am where I am because I decided to go to IEU. I think IEU provides an education and an environment that are pretty optimal for graduates to find their way through the profession and pursue their own paths and dreams.

Why did you choose the Bachelor of Architectural Studies program at IE University?
Being from Segovia, at first, staying in my own city was not what I really had in mind. What convinced me was the big focus on innovation as well as the possibility to do internships at renowned firms around the world.

What is one thing you wished you knew when you were a student?
Forming close relationships with professors, students, coworkers, etc. is very important and will be helpful in the near future.

TO CONTACT JAVIER, CLICK HERE