Rebuilding a career in Miami

HEINEKEN expat partner José Luis Trevino managed to find work as an architect in Miami: “Thanks to the coaching I received, because it gave me a good look at the local situation.”

Bohemian vibe

For five months José has been working in a slightly bohemian pink building painted with graffiti art. A typical signature building for Miami. He is delighted that he has managed to get a job in his field: “I challenged myself. Because although I brought my 14 years of experience in Mexico as an architect to the table, I had no idea about ​​the American market. In Mexico I designed factories and warehouses and I wanted to design hotels and high rise buildings. But how do you get into that industry as a specialised industrial architect?”

Hands-on approach

“My coach Scott Masciarelli helped me tremendously, mainly helping me rebuild my resume. In America, for example, you should not  put things like gender, race or a photo on your resume. The use of the right keywords becomes all the more important because letters are run through the algorithms of a computer. If you can’t get through, no one in an office will see your letter and resume. Scott even went as far as to help me with the graphics and formats for my portfolio. This hands-on approach combined with a few good conversations were very important for me.”

A proud smile

“The great thing is I now work at a nice architectural firm that’s not too large (60 employees). The boss is an immigrant himself and that certainly helped to get in. I am working in a team of four people on a beautiful high-rise building project,” says José with a proud smile.

American bureaucracy

“I’m still learning. From dealing with different software to the way in which plans are approved by a municipality. That differs so much from Mexico. Where a building is approved in Mexico with 10-15 plans and a month’s lead time, here it takes, I exaggerate a bit, 100 drawings and 8-12 months before the decision is made. In addition, you often have to deal with a third-party lawyer who acts as a liaison between you and the city council. But those differences are precisely what I wanted. That’s how I will learn.”

Photo: José’s workplace in Miami