Devon on May 11th, 2015

sOIt’s been a big year! I turned 30 this year and made my first big career change. After 6 years at Archiverde, I switched to Studio Outside to become a Project Leader. Studio Outside (sO) is relatively the same age as Archiverde. The main principles (Tary Arterburn, Chip Impastato, Mike Fraze, and Bill Millsap) formed sO in 2010. While based in Dallas, sO has significant commissions across Texas and the United States and significant experience in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Asia. The major differences between the firms is size and project type.

sO has over 40 employees and is still growing. The projects range from residential, ranches, public gardens, campuses, public parks, retail/mixed use, and subdivision/planned communities. I’ll primarily be focused in the commercial and retail/mixed use sector. A big change from high-end residential, but a welcomed new experience.

The firm itself is located at the entry gates to Fair Park in Dallas — only a 12 minute drive from my house. The office’s space was beautifully renovated to accommodate all the new hires over the past two years. The people are welcoming, smart, and focused. I would guess the average age of the employees would be around 37ish.The office has a good focus on team building by holding many social events, retreats, after hour happy hours, and volunteer opportunities.

One of the major perks of the new job is the benefits package: medical/dental/life insurances, disability, 401K, jury duty compensation, maternity/paternity leave, potential 7.5% yearly bonus, yearly continuing education stipend, holidays (with half days before all major holidays), and 3 weeks paid vacation for under 5 years and 4 weeks paid vacation for over 5 years, both with 40 hours of rollover per year. That means I could potentially have 4 weeks paid vacation starting in 2016 and 5 weeks paid vacation in 2020. Oh! and the other major perk: the office maintains a half day Friday schedule year-round: 9 hours M-R, 4 hours on Friday. Awesome!

More later…


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