Jake Gondek

  1. Tell me an interesting fact about yourself.
    • My first time flying in an airplane was in 2012 (when I was 18 years old). It was, however, unlike most people’s experience flying due to it being a private flight for the University of Michigan Marching Band. I was a part of the Michigan Marching Band for 4 years, and my first experience performing within the organization was hopping on a plane and flying down to the Dallas Cowboy’s AT&T stadium. There I marched on the field for the Michigan vs Alabama Cowboy Classic. Ironically, our show included the famous Bill Conti song “Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky).” Still to this day one of my favorite marching shows to be a part of.
  1. Why did you go into your profession?
    • Being an architect intrigued me for many different reasons. For starters, my grandfather worked as an architect in Detroit. He is the smartest man I know within my family, and it’s easy to be inspired to follow in his footsteps. Furthermore, the profession itself always felt like a perfect balance of art and function. Growing up I embraced the arts through music and drawing. From this I knew that I wanted to be a part of something that embraced creativity. I also felt the need to be grounded by a profession that I was viewed as pragmatic and vital as a public service. Architecture grants me the ability to provide what others need while also embracing form and experience artistically.
  1. What is your greatest strength?
    • An influential baseball coach of mine inspired me to always have a good attitude and to always be coachable. I work to apply this mentality to everything I do. Recognize when someone can and wants to help make you a better version of yourself (perhaps professionally, personally, or both). I do value this particular outlook as a strength of mine.
  1. What is your greatest personal achievement (not related to work)
    • This is a very tough question. The CORRECT answer is probably getting married in 2020 despite all the various obstacles that the world obviously threw at us that year. But one thing I am very proud of is hiking to the top of Booth Lake in Vail Colorado. The hike was 10 miles total, and we climbed 12,800 ft up. One of the toughest but most rewarding things I have ever done.
  1. What is your greatest professional achievement? (related to IDS)
    • One of the first projects I worked on was the University of Michigan Union project (one from my alma mater). This was a great project and an amazing introduction for me into the professional world. Additionally, I am proud to have been a part of projects like the Mott Community College Family Life Center and the Eastern Michigan Student-Athlete Performance Center.
  1. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    • My wife and I are both outdoorsy people, so we enjoy hiking, camping, and taking our black lab Geddy for walks. I also love listening to and playing music, so I do go to concerts quite often.
  1. What motivates you?
    • I’ve always viewed this profession as a chance to be a part of something bigger than myself with the goal of creating/changing something that can leave this world in a slightly better place. We have the opportunity to shape spaces that will elicit better environments for those within them. A lot of my projects are schools both at the elementary level and all the way up to collegiate. Because of this, I am motivated to believe my decisions will help those grow and inspire others within these built spaces.
  1. What is your #1 professional goal?
    • I am inspired by those within this firm that seem to be overflowing with knowledge. As I start off my journey of licensure and growth within the company, I would like to one day feel as if I am comparable in knowledge to some of my past mentors. I know that you never stop learning within Architecture, but I do hope to have a great foundation one day.

“We can walk our road together
If our goals are all the same
We can run alone and free
If we pursue a different aim
Let the truth of Love be lighted
Let the love of truth shine clear
Armed with sense and liberty
With the Heart and Mind united
In a single perfect sphere”
– Neil Peart