Majoring in landscape architecture began as simple curiosity for Jeffrey Reyna, a May 2013 graduate, but it wasn’t long before Reyna knew that he made the right choice. Now a landscape designer for ValleyCrest Landscape Companies, Reyna feels privileged to work in a career where his passion for art and design are a necessity for his job.
What led you to major in landscape architecture?
Honestly, curiosity led me to major in landscape architecture. I knew I loved art and design and being outside, but I was unsure of what I wanted to do until I discovered this field. Once at Purdue, I knew I made the right decision because both of my passions can be applied in this career.
What are some of your favorite recollections about your experience at Purdue University?
My favorite recollection of Purdue has to be all the time spent in studio. At the time, the all-nighters and the multiple deadlines were really brutal, but all the skills learned, the friendships created, and the memories made during these times will stick with me forever.
Describe your current career, its development and the path that took you there.
Currently, I am a landscape designer for ValleyCrest Landscape Companies in Chicago, Illinois. I caught word of a potential job with this company through Professor Paul Siciliano who set me up with an interview. What really drew me into ValleyCrest was that even though they are a nationwide company, they are basically a startup operation in the Chicagoland region, so the opportunity of my career growth within this company is great.
What is a typical work day like and what are your primary responsibilities?
My typical workday mainly consists of doing residential landscape designs and commercial planting enhancement designs. We are also currently working on full redesigns for an apartment complex and a condominium high-rise in the Chicagoland area. I work a lot with AutoCAD (software design application) and the Adobe Suites as well as doing multiple site visits and client meetings.
What advice would you offer to others thinking about a career in landscape architecture?
My advice would be to make sure you’re in it for the enjoyment and not the money. It is an excellent and very rewarding field for the people who do not think of this as a nine-to-five job, but as an enjoyable hobby you get to do every day.