Andrew Sargeant is an enterprise architectural fellow with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. Andrew believes students should be willing to explore and travel different paths.
“You know, you can be really into something one day and then want to change your mind. It’s OK to do that.”
How did you get to where you are today?
I was really interested in design. I think I was going to be an architect, but I also saw a need to kind of, you know, deal with the environmental conditions that we are facing as of humans on the planet. So landscape architecture seemed like the perfect fit to kind of still do design, but then also work with ecosystems and animals and trees and all that kind of stuff and kind of fell in love with them once I started studying it in college.
What advice do you have for students today?
Career paths are not linear.
You can start, stop, go in between all that kind of thing.
I took a year off from school. transferred universities, moved to a bunch of different cities. I think understanding that your end goal is going to be continuously moving and you have the opportunity to change that. I think a lot of people sometimes get caught up in not wanting to go through change. And it’s important to be flexible because ultimately, sometimes the best opportunities lie beyond with some level of discomfort and you kind of have to walk through that door to see what those opportunities are.
What is STEM to you?
STEM means to me the way to solve some of the most urgent problems that we have on the planet. I think climate change being like number one.
Displacement of folks through natural disasters – all of that kind of stuff. Water quality issues, health and public safety.
Just overall, I think the science fields or science-related fields are integral to solving these problems. And I think the more people that come from diverse backgrounds, the better because that allows just a diverse range of thought and then also reflecting some of the communities that are most affected by some of these natural disasters. Having people that look like them, be the people that are also solving some of these problems, I think is really important.
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