Want to score a job at populous their kansas city office shares how applicants can stand out from the competition features archinect mexican recipes with ground beef and potatoes

Populous likes to go big. Since their founding in 1983, the global architecture and design firm has worked on over 2,000 projects around the globe. They have worked with high-profile clients — ranging from professional sports teams to universities to civic clients — in designing an array of stadiums and arenas, convention centers, masterplans for over 30 major worldwide events, airport renovations, and more.

Finding unique, well-rounded employees who can work in a team is critical for populous when it comes to hiring at any one of their 14 global offices and three regional centers in kansas city, london, and brisbane. So how can job-seekers stand out from the competition? In archinect’s latest “how to get A job at ___”, missy ragsdale, director of human resources at populous’ kansas city regional center, got in touch with us to share some tips and a glimpse into office life at the firm.Drawing people together


At populous, we are always on the lookout for people who love creating the places where people love to be together. From an experience perspective, recent graduates and mid-level, licensed architects with 5-12 years of experience are steadily in high demand for us. Designers specializing in technical and/or conceptual design will always garner our attention as well!

It’s always clear when a candidate has or has not done their homework. Those who come to the interview prepared with well thought out questions, knowledge of our brand and strong communication skills never cease to impress. However, the real gold star candidates share their enthusiasm and interest in the type of work we do too. Maybe they have had one or many memorable moments in a building we designed – we love to see candidates share that kind of excitement.Drawing people together

We know populous isn’t like other architecture firms, so more than anything we want to learn if a candidate feels that the company is a mutually good fit. We are a social bunch, so an important question is always, “will they embrace and contribute to our culture?” short-term and long-term goals are also very important and we strive to show every candidate how populous can help fulfill their needs on both fronts. Populous is not short on entrepreneurial spirit so we are looking for people who can take an idea and run with it, as well.

Applicants should tailor their pitch to the kind of work we do. Designing iconic, large-scale buildings requires attention to detail and big picture thinking. As a result, spelling mistakes, compositional errors and overlooking critical information are red flags.Drawing people together portfolio links should be consistent with listed work and group projects should specify the candidate’s role in the process. We’re interested in the candidates who put their best foot forward, and it’s important for application materials to be buttoned up to move to the next step.

Populous is a global design firm, so naturally appealing designs will stand out. That said, the strongest CV and portfolios are easy to read, well formatted and concise. If a resume features a headshot, it should be of professional quality and appropriately sized. Because we cover so many building types, a portfolio that conveys a candidate’s ability and interests is highly recommended and helps us get a feel for their design methodology.

An educational background that provides a solid foundation for a professional track is what we look for most, more specifically those who have completed accredited and reputable architecture programs.Drawing people together we know all prospective employees follow different educational paths, but professional advancement and licensure offer personal and professional benefits so we highly encourage it. We are not a conventional architecture firm, and we do not expect our employees to be conventional either. We see continued education as an opportunity for individuals to apply their unique backgrounds and bring fresh perspectives to design challenges.

All newcomers to populous have an orientation luncheon, so right off the bat they can begin to foster a connection with populous staff. At this event they learn more about the day-to-day functions of our practice, from various policies to what day each month is birthday cake day, one of many longstanding traditions at our firm.Drawing people we also provide assessments that gauge proficiency at the time of hire, so new employees can express areas in which they would like more training. In doing so, we can make sure populous is providing the necessary tools for success, whether an employee would like to continue their education via online or classroom style learning opportunities. Mixing expert guides with fresh thinking is a huge part of our ongoing process and continued success as a firm.

We offer incentives for external training as well, both monetary and resource-based. This includes reimbursement for test fees and paid time off to study and take certification and licensure exams. Our culture and project delivery method also result in organic mentorships, as more experienced designers are constantly working with and training young architects to familiarize themselves with different types of delivery processes.People together mixing expert guides with fresh thinking is a huge part of our ongoing process and continued success as a firm.

Do populous’ offices constantly collaborate with each other on projects? What challenges are typically involved? Or does each office operate more independently?

We may have 14 global offices, but we are one firm. Our efforts around drawing people together extend beyond our projects and into our culture, and we strive to share our experiences and knowledge across all offices. The nature of our projects – their complexity, scope and size – regularly provides opportunities for project teams to come together from multiple offices. This type of collaboration often leads to interoffice social events, friendly competitions, sharing of lessons learned and design innovations.Drawing people together bringing together diverse perspectives yields the best ideas.

At populous, we don’t downplay the importance of a social life. Work hard, play hard is not a cliché here, it is just what we do. Our list of organized social activities is extensive, but to name a few we compete with other local firms in a city-wide series of athletic competitions called corporate challenge; host quarterly, office-wide social events and coordinate intramural sports teams. If we’ve learned anything in our 35 year history, it’s that sports does a great job of drawing people together, but we also recognize the value of community outreach. If we’ve learned anything in our 35 year history, it’s that sports does a great job of drawing people together, but we also recognize the value of community outreach.Drawing people

We encourage our staff to bond by participating in various efforts such as improving children’s literacy by reading with students weekly at area elementary schools. The diversity of our options for socialization is mirrored by our drive to remain a diverse workplace by connecting with women leadership groups and other culturally inclusive organizations. Then we have the parties. Populous hosts an annual family tailgate, holiday party for employees and families, inter-office competitions and monthly design mashups, all including good food and drink. Impromptu friday afternoon social gatherings are a frequent occurrence as well. New ideas are always highly encouraged!

Populous encourages employees to create their own path and pursue their passions.Drawing people together we do not have a standard track that we expect all designers to follow through their career, and we pride ourselves on that fact. When you observe a meeting at populous, you’d be challenged to find out who is more senior. We encourage good ideas from the bottom, which is not a common practice. Our culture, offices and people are entrepreneurial, open and innovative and we have the awards to prove it. Those who work here are encouraged to seek out the type of projects and work that interest them the most, there are no silos at populous. Furthermore, our turnover is less than two percent, an industry low that is certainly a byproduct of our environment. People come to populous for a career, not a job.

Populous is growing into markets that allow us to create great live experiences in new and exciting ways, from design-build to hospitality and beyond.People together we never want to be static so it is important for us to continue finding ways to innovate and evolve as a practice.

Interested in joining populous? Check out their archinect profile to see if they have any current listings. To see more active listings from hundreds of firms, browse archinect’s job board.

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