Architecture students take advantage of networking opportunity

Photo courtesy: Joshua Francis

Top students in Florida A&M University’s School of Architecture and Engineering
Technology had the chance to attend the NOMA Unplugged 2022 conference. NOMA,
an acronym for National Organization of Minority Architects, held this year’s conference
in Nashville in late October.

FAMU students had the opportunity to meet countless established architects, designers,
students and other professionals with a career close to architecture. The FAMU
students attended seminars, workshops and heard keynote speeches from their peers.

Joshua Francis, a third-year architecture major, was able to attend this scholarly event
and learn more about architecture and meet other architects. Francis said there were
many seminars for students to attend on day one.

“The first day was a series of seminars we signed up for before the event,” Francis said.
“Then there was a keynote speech and dance party at the Nashville City Winery.”

There was an awards banquet to celebrate the NOMA members who were doing an
outstanding job in their profession. NOMA also hosted other events such as the closing
ceremony and masquerade ball. The panels ranged from dealing with mental health,
and inequalities faced by women and minorities in the architecture industry. The
workshops consisted of new technology, history, and open discussion for anyone.

Francis said this opportunity could help him with his future endeavors to become an

“This conference will help me by connecting me to current professionals and students
that I would never get the chance to meet due to the insignificant distance between our
locations,” he said. “Networking here can help create strong bonds in the future.”

The conference was also a way for students to find internships, and even jobs by
networking and connecting with people from different parts of the world or industry
because you never know where it will take you. Cornelis Pace, a fourth-year
architecture major, said this opportunity could work out for him. "It could help me by
allowing me to network with high-level architects and business owners,” he said. “And
get feedback from professionals in the field on my work.”

Francis said he would without a doubt go again the NOMA conferences, as many times
as possible.