Alejandra Valadez is a senior project coordinator. She helps with nearly every phase of a project, from conceptual design through construction documents. She recently finished working on the new Neenah High School and will begin on another high school with the Burlington Community School District in Iowa.
Alejandra remembers being interested in design since childhood. She realized that architecture might be the right career path after taking some STEAM-based classes in high school. Around that time, she visited her older brother who was studying architecture at Iowa State University. “I got to see the whole process, even before being a part of it,” she says. “I remember thinking, ‘This is so cool. I want to do this!’” After graduating, she followed in her brother’s footsteps and enrolled in the same architecture program at Iowa State.
At Bray, Alejandra enjoys being a part of a team and having exposure to every aspect of a project’s lifecycle. This includes client meetings, where she joins the conversation about the project and hears the clients’ thoughts firsthand. “It’s easy to forget while you’re focused on your computer in the office that it’s not just the project team who’s designing. It’s also the clients. They’re driving the project.”
The most rewarding part of the process for Alejandra is experiencing the finished building. “You spend a lot of time thinking about how the space should look and what it should have in it,” she says. “It feels amazing when you get to see everything come to life. Not a lot of jobs lead to a physical product. It makes you feel like what you’re doing is important.”
Outside of the office, Alejandra enjoys making artwork, being outdoors (when the weather is warm), and spending time with her fiancée. They are both avid foodies and enjoy discovering new restaurants in the area. One of her favorite meals? “I never had a fish fry before moving to Wisconsin, and I fell in love with them.”