09 July 2018
09 July 2018
"Think Independently" - Larry Scarpa, Brooks + Scarpa Architects
What Employers Want - AIA Conference 2017
Filmed at the AIA Conference in Orlando, Larry Scarpa, Principal at Brooks + Scarpa Architects, talks about their office culture, what makes someone stand out to them and how they prefer to receive portfolios.
How would you describe your office culture?
Our office culture is a bit like an extended family, we all work pretty closely. Everyone knows what’s going on with almost every project. In fact, there are no doors in our office. We moved our office recently and we got our first door in twenty years; to a conference room. We used to have our private conferences out in the parking lot.
What makes someone stand out to you?
When looking at prospective job candidates, we really look for people who think, creative thinkers, people we believe could solve problems independently. We don’t put a whole lot of stock in education or where they went to school. We kind of just bypass the actual school, but we look for clues that show how they’re able to think independently. Always, the problem with young architects is not what you don’t know but knowing when to ask the questions. Sometimes, the smartest people know when to ask the questions, and we look for that.
How should a candidate approach an interview?
Not talk about what they’ve done, but what they can do, or what they aspire to do, and how their past work, or how their body of work, or their involvement has led to that. We don’t look for a superstar show because generally young architects don’t have a long enough career to tout all their accolades.
How do you prefer to receive portfolios?
Portfolios are really important, physical ones. We don’t look at links. We just ask for something; a digital copy works really well. A PDF, and we ask for it to be less than 5 megabytes. If it’s big, again, it just goes right in the trash. Anything too big, too wordy, takes time to load, just goes directly in the recycle bin. So, keep it simple, be direct, small, you don’t have to show your whole life, just the key elements.
Author: Kat Allenby, Global head of Communications, Bespoke Careers