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CSI Community Supports the Next Generation of Aspiring AECO Professionals

By CSI HQ posted 12-05-2023 04:18 PM


Lingyi "Linda" Li has always been fascinated by building.

As a child, she loved designing with Lego. At 15, she began helping with the maintenance of her mother's home. Before entering architecture school, she worked at three different firms to better understand the aspects of the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner (AECO) industry.

Now, as a student at the University of California, Linda is working to build her network. She took a major step toward that goal by attending the 2023 CSI National Conference held this past fall in Minneapolis, MN.

"Being among the few Chinese women and one of the younger attendees at the conference added to the uniqueness of my experience," Linda says. "Attending this conference marked my first exposure to such a large-scale event, and it was truly remarkable to witness individuals sharing their wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of construction. I believe it's essential for other students to have this kind of opportunity."

Another recipient of a CSI scholarship is Alexandria Anderson, a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Architecture. Alexandria has already studied abroad in Denmark and served in the US Army Reserves as a 12WCarpentry and Masonry Specialist, experiences that helped her develop a strong love for the construction process.

Now, she's starting to build her professional network too.

"The networking [at the CSI Conference] events felt like large community get-togethers, strongly representing the positive discourse and relationships CSI builds," Alexandria says. "Being able to connect with the CSI community in this way is life-changing, and without the scholarship, my future would not be as bright. Being a part of the CSI community to me means being a part of a team—a massive, nationwide team focused on improving our built environment."

Scholarship recipient Azaria "Obed" Eriza says he felt the same sense of community at CSI’s National Conference. As a new graduate, working in his first job as a specifications consultant, Obed describes his attendance at the conference as an extension of his experience interacting with CSI events at a local level.

"To me, the CSI community is full of welcoming arms and open minds. I have only been a part of the organization for about a year, but within that year, I have seen a great amount of support for emerging professionals," Obed says. "I would like to say thank you to all the donors who made these scholarships possible. I wish I was able to shake hands with each and every one of you!"

Yet another scholarship recipient, Raritha Joshy, says she shares the same gratitude to the donors who made her trip to the conference possible.
"Their support is an investment in the future of professionals like myself, enabling us to contribute meaningfully to the AECO industry. I want to express my heartfelt thanks for believing in the potential of students and for making a positive impact on our lives and careers," she adds.

Raritha has a Master of Science in Construction Management from the University of Florida and is working on completing her Architectural Experience Program. 
"Attending the CSI National Conference was an invaluable experience,” Raritha says. “The ease with which you feel at home in the CSI community could be attributed to the inclusive nature of the group. When surrounded by like-minded individuals who share common values and aspirations, it's natural to feel a sense of belonging and comfort."

The CSI Foundation is committed to empowering more aspiring professionals like Linda, Alexandra, Obed, and Raritha to expand their knowledge and network.
You can help too by supporting the CSI scholarship program. Click here to learn more or make a contribution.