Q: To begin, when did you first get started with ACE and what inspired you to get involved?
Megan: I started mentoring with ACE in 2010. My firm at the time hosted the weekly sessions with students and the firm really supported and promoted participating in the program.
Josephine: For quite some time now, I’ve managed the interns at Finegold Alexander, which exposed me to a type of mentoring relationship with students. It has always been a positive experience that I enjoyed, so when I received some emails regarding the ACE Program and knew a few familiar faces involved, it had sparked my interest.
Q: How has the ACE Mentor Program changed since the transition into remote learning?
M: ACE worked to adapt the program to work for remote sessions. It still feels very similar to the in-person program, but with virtual sessions, the program has been able to reach more communities.
J: I joined the program during the pandemic so I’ve only experienced ACE remotely.
Q: What have been some highlights of your involvement?
M: At the beginning of each meeting, students share information about each discipline’s progress. It is a great experience to hear about all the considerations of each discipline and to have the students take charge of their project.
J: This year was a bit different because Finegold Alexander was the leading architecture firm for the virtual group. This required a bit of prep work every week to make each session as productive and informative as possible. Working with the schedule, we carved out time for each session to run through many different aspects we encounter on actual projects and got to share that with the students.
Q: What do you hope the students get out of the ACE Program?
M: An enthusiasm and curiosity for design and a sense of accomplishment. The students put a lot of work into the projects, and when we compile the end- of- year presentation, it’s always great to see all of their design decisions and coordination on the presentation boards.
J: Getting exposure to the industry is very important so I am hoping that students can better understand options for their career paths by participating in this program.