Hey BCM!! My name is Sydney Kiem, and I’m a rising fifth-year/thesis student studying Architecture. I’m also the girl OL for Green fam!
What have you been up to this summer?
This summer I’m interning at an architecture firm in my hometown, Springfield, VA. It’s been great to see an architecture firm’s processes through each phase of a building project, and they even bring in their dogs to the office! I’ve also been spending time with family and doing game nights with friends. Earlier this summer I got to fulfill my middle school dreams of seeing Big Time Rush in concert for their first night of touring since they got back together. I’ve also been trying to start planning for my year-long thesis project and not freak out about already entering my final year of the Architecture program. To keep up the creative process, I recently 3D printed my studio project from last year, which turned out to be quite a challenge.
How have you seen God work recently?
God has been teaching me to give up the illusion of control I try to have in my life, especially when it comes to my future career. I started out the summer interning at a different firm that right away I knew wasn’t going to be a good fit for me. I was already disappointed that I hadn’t gotten a position from one of the firms I was really interested in. I started looking for other options and quickly got discouraged because everyone seemed to have already filled the position, the firm was too far away, they wanted someone who’d already graduated, etc. I even saw a firm I’d never heard of that was 10 minutes away from my house and looked like a great place, but their job posting said they were looking for someone with a bachelor’s.
Feeling stuck, I tried to accept being at the place I was currently at, and look past the unprofessional aspects of it I was seeing each day. One morning I got really frustrated before heading to work, and when I checked my phone before getting in my car to leave, I had an email that the place in Springfield saw I’d looked at their job post and invited me to apply! I was so excited but scared that they just thought I was in a four-year program and had graduated. My mom encouraged me to call them and explain, and they said it might be an option for me to be a summer intern. It was a rollercoaster of not knowing whether they’d actually accept a student intern and if I’d make it through the whole interview/hiring process. It was hard to not have control over what they were going to say. But each time I got super discouraged in the first place, I would get a message that I had moved to the next step with 2POV (the Springfield place) just when I needed it. The timing was so clearly God giving me little signs that even my dad, who’s not much of a believer, made a comment about how perfect the timing was, and that he knew my mom and I had been praying for this to work out.
I got the job at 2POV, and it’s been such a blessing this summer! I’ve learned so much, felt like my coworkers truly wanted to mentor me, and been able to spend more time with family since my commute is so short. I would’ve never even known about them if I hadn’t taken the first job that caused me to go searching for new options. I’d felt like I’d failed in not doing enough to get the right position for me at the beginning of the summer, but God showed me that He has a plan and that He uses the bad to lead me to the good whether I’m aware of it or not.
What is something you love about BCM?
I love the sense of community at BCM! As someone who has struggled with social anxiety my whole life, being able to come to this community and be welcomed so whole-heartedly was such a blessing and has helped me grow in my faith so much. It truly feels like a family who accepts you as you are, and encourages you to have a better relationship with God.
What are you looking forward to in the fall?
I’m looking forward to seeing friends at BCM again, and all the fun events BCM does throughout the year. I’m also excited to dive into thesis work and get to have that chance to be creative and figure out more about what kind of architect I want to be.
What advice would you like to share with incoming freshmen?
Try out new things, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I’ve been trying to remind myself that uncomfortable doesn’t necessarily mean unsafe. Sometimes it just means something is new, and new things can sometimes be the best thing for you! College is such a big transition, and just because it feels scary at first, or even for a while, doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong place or not cut out for it. Allow yourself to just try new things and meet a bunch of new people. Also, please start your homework early so you’re not pulling all-nighters :).
What are your favorite things to do in Blacksburg?
I love walking around campus, meeting up with people in the library and at the BCM, and going to the farmers market downtown. I also enjoy going to see softball and baseball games, and events at Moss Arts Center.