Student Spotlight: Angelina Aziz

Angelina Aziz was an exchange student with an architectural background from Germany this past semester. In the end of her bachelor’s degree course, she realized that her focus of interest shifted more towards computer-aided design methods and VDC. She recognized that architecture is not only an art but technology.
Since fall 2016, she is enrolled in the Masters of Integrated Design with the specification of Computational Design at her University in Germany (University of Applied Sciences in Detmold). This year she received the prestigious Fulbright scholarship which gave her the opportunity to study in the United States – so she decided to apply for the University of Florida!

What was your favorite part about…

living in Gainesville? For me, Gainesville is the ideal college town. There are so many diverse people with different professions that you can learn from and you don’t get this experience from a small university. The campus is really outstanding – the architecture, the age of the buildings and all the history behind it. In addition, I really enjoyed plays in the Hippodrome, and in the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

the exchange program? The University of Florida and the University of Applied Sciences in Detmold have a partnership for many years. My favorite part was not only to be a representative of my country and my university at the Rinker school, but also strengthen the partnership of these universities.

The Rinker School? The mission to prepare diverse graduates for an outstanding professional career in the construction industry. The professors are truly interested in the student’s individual career and give a lot of helpful advice. I really enjoyed the organized field trip to the Construction company ‘Stellar’ and to see all the VDC technologies being implemented in the office and on site.

The University of Florida? The welcoming environment created by students, faculties, and administration.

Did you run into any challenges during your time and how did you overcome them? Being away and living alone in a completely different world has taught me a lot of things. I have learned to see things from a different perspective and be independent.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about doing the program? Always say ‘yes’ to new things!

Would you recommend the exchange program to a friend? I would recommend this exchange program to everybody!

What’s next for you? I will return to Germany and graduate in Summer 2019.

What are your career goals? How did the Rinker School assist you in reaching these goals? During this program, I have learned a lot about different VDC technologies, especially about the BIM technology and its potential effects on the construction industry. However, aligning standards, training people and adapting regulations are still challenges to BIM adoption. Therefore, the ‘Building Information Modeling’ adoption still varies across countries, including Germany, and I would like to change that. My long-term goals will be to work in the construction field with VDC technologies, start my own business focusing on advanced technology and earn a doctorate.

Why did you choose the University of Florida and the Rinker School for your exchange program? The Rinker School is not only one of the oldest but also one of the most prestigious construction management schools in the country. But most of all, the Rinker’s objectives were reflecting my passion for technology.

If you could describe your experience in three words, what would they be? Intense. Enriching. Eye-opening.

Anything else that you would like to share about your experience at the University of Florida and the Rinker School? I would like to thank UF, especially the Rinker School and Fulbright for giving me the opportunity to dive more into construction technologies and VDC.

What will you miss the most? I will definitely miss my friends, the campus, and Gatorade!

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