Preparing for Life After the Academy

School of Interior Architecture & Design alumnus Pohui Lin imparts advice to current students

By Cassandra Harger

Recent grad Pohui Lin, better known as Po, is making waves in the world of interior architecture and design. Lin, who arrived at Academy of Art University as an international student, was scouted during the School of Interior Architecture & Design (IAD)’s Spring 2019 showcase and recently accepted a junior designer position with Gensler—a prestigious design and architecture firm with global influence. In an interview with IAD, Lin discussed key traits for success and shared some insightful wisdom to help current students ease the transition into post-grad life.

Like many international students, Lin’s biggest struggle is communication. “It’s always hard to immerse yourself completely in a different environment,” said Lin. Despite being in California throughout college, he still finds communication his largest hurdle to overcome. His strategy for success is to push oneself into constant social situations.

School of Interior Architecture & Design alumnus Pohui Lin. Photo courtesy of Pohui Lin.

Since starting his role at Gensler, Lin has tried to attend every event provided by his company in order to have more conversations with others and improve his language skills.

However, language isn’t everything when your work can speak for itself. For example, Lin spent a great amount of time on his work and exploring the software used within the industry. Without constant practice, no one can expect to be great. Lin emphasized that software skills need to be market-ready: “No one is going to spend their time on training you further.” There is no cutting corners. Getting by with the minimum required skills is a disservice to both the individual and their future.

Currently 30 years old, Lin shared a few wise words for current students. The first step in becoming a successful student and maintaining that success in your post-graduate life is to embrace your curiosity. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” said Lin. He advised learning from your peers, as they come from all different backgrounds and can help you gain perspective.

Lin went on to explain the importance of high expectations, recommending to “never be satisfied with a project. There is always something that can improve. Don’t ever limit yourself and don’t get stuck on Pinterest.” If you really want to make waves in your industry, then you need to be the one to set new trends. Look for hobbies that inspire you and go from there.

Lastly, Lin advised making the most out of your college experience. The relationships and connections that can be made at the Academy are limitless. “Attend the IIDA/ASID events as well as the Spring Show. You never know who you could meet,” said Lin. “There are people who just might refer you to your dream job.”

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