The Studio 11: It’s Not All About Tim

by Tim Alatorre

Peter Kaupert ’05, joins us for a discussion about working in a small firm. Tim gets a job, tries to start a fight and panics about his pending test. Haley goes back in time and we say good bye to an Architectural icon. Oh and theStudio at!

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Show Notes

Tim, Haley, Lucy, and Peter: Poly Canyon April 2002

Tim gets a new job!!!! woo hooo!!! Out of a few hundred applications he made it through a marathon of interviews. Cheers! (

Introducing Peter!

  • Blast from the past!! We all met in studio during second year (just a bit of trivia for you all).


Lots of reviews happening this week! Great job to all of you students this week.

Rapid Fire Questions

  • Cal Poly or Berkeley? Cal Poly
  • Autocad or Revit? Autocad
  • Parallel bar or T-Square? Parellel bar
  • Facebook or LinkedIn? Facebook
  • Arch Record or Arch Digest? Arch Record
  • Drafting dots or tape? Electrical Tape!!!
  • Yellow trace or white? white
  • Ad Markers or Prisma? Ad Makers
  • Pen or Pencil? depends on what he’s drawing — pen right now
  • Mac or PC? PC

Final score: 1000 points and a high five from Haley


  • What are you up to?
    • Currently lives in Morro Bay.
    • Works for a small firm in Atascadero, only a few people in the office. He’s been working there for over five years since graduating from Cal Poly.
    • The firm does a wide range of work, mainly residential work, small scale assisted care facilities, mulit-family, a few churches.
    • Enjoys being part of a small firm and seeing everything happen
  • Currently working towards licensure? progress?
    • Completed most of his IDP
    • Goal to take most of the exams this year.
  • Why has he been putting off his AREs?
    • It seems daunting, putting it off until he has more professional experience to help with knowledge needed for the AREs.
    • Tim says: If you’ve gone through Cal Poly you’re well prepared for the exams in his opinion.
    • We chat about the AREs, the reformatted 4.0 exams and passing rates.
  • Observations of economy, how is he seeing the effects?
    • Personally he is working less hours.
    • As far as work goes, his firm is seeing less projects in general and current project pace has slowed as well.
    • One of the problems with the slower economy is not just the lack of work but the general disposition about the lack of work, it’s perpetuating itself.
    • Students graduating now must be depressed with all the negativity out there.
    • Staying positive in these down times is key, your attitude helps office moral and reflects well on clients.
  • Thoughts on Cal Poly grads out in the industry?
    • Grads are strong in some areas, hence the reputation that we have.
    • From a practical standpoint, Cal Poly Arch. grads.
    • When he came out of school he didn’t know the computer drafting programs well, so that was something he had to develop out in the industry.
    • Now it seems that current Cal Poly Arch students know software more, but it seems that they have acquired that knowledge on their own for the most part.
    • Tim chimes in: At his new job they’ve commented that the Cal Poly Arch Grads are more grounded all around, they know more about how things go together and how to apply that knowledge.
  • We bring on a possible street fight with Berkley Grads (all in good fun).
  • Thoughts on how the program is changing/improving?
    • Technology and software, it seems that there are more tools at the disposal of students so the final project is more interesting.
    • He’s planning on getting over to Cal Poly and checking things out to give us an update.
  • Is there something you wish you had done or known when you were still at Cal Poly?
    • He would have spent more time trying to learn the computer drafting programs.
    • In retrospect he would have paid more attention in practice.
    • Appreciate all the knowledge from design and the ability to think like a designer but keep in mind practice is important too.
    • The practice side is something we sometimes lose sight of as students.
    • Having opportunities to work during school helps prepare you for your time out in the indusrty.
  • What kind of advice can you give to current Cal Poly students?
    • Besides some of the above points…
    • Don’t spend every hour in lab, enjoy the community that you live in and the beauty of the place you go to school.

About the Author

Tim Alatorre