Athena Dadiz

Athena Dadiz

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, 2014
Master of Construction Management, 2015
Project Engineer, Swinerton Builders

How did you hear about NewSchool?
Google! In high school, I was involved in a community service outreach program in the South Pacific and I wanted to study architecture. I was living in New York and Googled “architecture schools in San Diego” and found NewSchool. I later visited the school and was hooked when I saw the studios filled with students making architectural models!

What was your favorite aspect of attending NewSchool? What was your favorite memory?
Hands down the faculty. George Welch and the rest of the faculty were amazing. My favorite memory was the first year we went to the ASC Reno Student competition. NewSchool had never gone before 2013 and our team took first place in the Virtual Design and Construction category.

What projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m working on a $120 million high rise downtown called Shift, in East Village. It’s a full city block, podium construction, 21 stories high, with a pool on the roof.

What has been your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest personal accomplishment was going back to the ASC Reno competition with my employer. I got to work with a team to write the scope of the problem statement in the Design-Build category. It really came full circle and I got to experience it from the other side of the table. Another accomplishment is that my first project out of school finished 3 months early – it was a big deal!

What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Network and look for a mentor – it doesn’t always have to be a formal platform. Look for people who you can go to when you have an issue. Also, work on defining your own voice and building confidence in professional situations. Even if you don’t know something, you can find the answer to it.