Say “hello” to Haley Hilton, Curran’s newest team member! Haley grew up in Terre Haute and came to Curran by way of southwest Indiana, where she was an architectural designer. Although Haley is new to Indy, she’s not new to the industry. Here’s what she had to say about her professional experience and why client interaction is so rewarding.
Where are you from? Where did you go to school?
I’m originally from Terre Haute. I went to Indiana State University and majored in mechanical engineering technology. I moved to Evansville for work right after college but ended up doing architecture instead. I was an architectural designer in Newburgh for three years before my son and I moved to Indy.
Newburgh is about three hours from Indy. How did you learn about Curran?
I was searching online for different firms in the area, but all the job postings were at large, nationwide firms. I didn’t want to be just a number at a company, and I didn’t want to be someone a company could treat as disposable. After some Googling, it was clear that Curran was the only firm with my desired dynamic. It seemed great and the website had me sold, so I sent in my resume and said, “My goal is to end up at Curran. This is a really good fit in my eyes.”
How would you describe the culture at Curran?
It’s very collaborative. Everyone puts a lot of effort into what they’re doing to make sure it’s done right.
What do you like about working at an architecture firm?
I love the collaboration between clients and designers and hearing about their goals and aspirations for their project. It is very motivational. Also, the satisfaction of seeing projects completed. I’ve already come a lot further in my career than I thought I would. I really enjoy the entire architectural process and I’m happy doing this for the long run. The longer I do it, the more I learn and the more my skillset increases.
How is what you learned in college different from what you do now?
Since I studied mechanical engineering technology, my degree was very physics- and calculus-based. However, I got to see the drafting side, from hand drawing to 3D modeling with CREO. That was all very beneficial and translated to real life. I also use Auto CAD now, which we used in college, too. But working really does give you the experience you need. College professors don’t have as much real-world experience as the owner of an architecture firm or the owner of an engineering firm.
In general, what do you enjoy about the profession?
Architecture allows for a lot of creativity. It’s fun to be a part of the whole experience. Since Curran is a smaller firm, I get to be involved from the beginning to the end of projects. I have a hand in choosing design elements and materials to create a “wow factor.”
Tell us more about the wow factor.
It’s rewarding to see that “wow factor” come to fruition. Making sure a project stands out and that the owner can take pride in it. Through client interaction, I may be able to open their eyes to something they don’t already know about. It’s nice to figure out what they want and ask myself, “How can I deliver that?”
What energizes you?
Making clients happy. They’re putting a lot of money into making their dreams come true. It’s my job to make sure they’re getting something they really want. I’m proud to be part of their vision. To assist them. That’s something I try to do with everyone—be helpful to them and help them achieve the things they strive for.
Outside of work, what do you like to do?
I’ve been taking guitar lessons for about eight months, which is really fun. I also enjoy quilting, crafts, and baking. My son is into science experiments right now, so we rotate through those on a regular basis. Seeing him so excited to learn new things is the best part of my day. We’re also really excited for all the extracurricular options here in Indy, too. Especially the parks. We enjoy being active and outdoors—hiking, swimming, traveling. My son just started swimming lessons and loves it!
You mentioned traveling. Any trips planned?
Yes! Panama City Beach this summer and, hopefully, Egypt.