Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture
Merritt Chase, Pittsburgh
Tell us about your career since leaving Knowlton.
My first internship was at the Neighborhood Design Center in Columbus, Ohio. I worked there during my senior year as a landscape design intern.
I moved to Pittsburgh after graduation and have lived here for almost three years. My first job was as a landscape designer at Environmental Planning and Design, and I currently work as a landscape designer at Merritt Chase.
Describe your typical day as a landscape designer.
A typical day for me consists of a short drive to work, arriving, and checking/answering my emails. I have the option to work from home, but I'm a social person and enjoy being in the office and generally come in five days a week.
On Mondays we have a company team meeting/discussion. We talk about the projects in the upcoming weeks and who will be on them. After our meeting, I ask my project manager if there are specific tasks or projects that I need to work on, and I work on them until the end of the day. I may ask a coworker or project manager to review my work if they are on the same project or if I need a second opinion.
I have lunch or take a short walk around the neighborhood. I usually work on one or two projects during the day, and end my day at 5 p.m.
What is one piece of advice you can give a Knowlton student who is searching for a job or internship?
Reaching out sooner than later is always better! If you are interested in a company or job, it is much easier to ask companies as a college student rather than as a college graduate.
Ask to visit or otherwise see firms' offices. And ask firms what they are looking for in candidates—it's easier to do earlier rather than later. Don’t be afraid to reach out to companies that interest you well before applying, it shows interest and initiative.
What does having your degree from Ohio State and Knowlton mean to you?
I believe having my landscape architecture degree means that I can be an advocate in underrepresented spaces. I am able to use my knowledge to help make a better-built environment.
Have you received any awards for your work as a student or professional?
As a student, I won the Studio Award in my Junior year with my friend David (now owner of The Plant Gays in Columbus).
While working at EPD, I was a part of creating the Hazelwood Riverfront Master Plan for Pittsburgh, PA. That project received professional recognition from the Pennsylvania Delaware Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects (PA-DE ASLA).
In general, I am proud of producing good work and being a part of projects where my voice is valued.
How do you stay connected to Knowlton and your fellow alumni?
I stay connected to other alumni by following Knowlton's LinkedIn page and I have lifelong friends from Knowlton that I keep in touch with.