A Student Perspective on the 2007 Annual Meeting

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This letter from ASLA National Student Representative Paul Fusco appears in the latest issue of
LAND Online. Please let your voice be heard by using the comment system below.

The 2007 Annual Meeting in San Francisco had a record-breaking attendance and an amazing selection of lectures, exhibitors, and tours. A full and eclectic weekend offered information beneficial for both professionals and students. From a student’s perspective, the “Inside the LA Studio” seminars were particularly advantageous, because they can help students gain a better understanding of the professional studio atmosphere and the excitement that employees enjoy in different office settings.

I know some of my fellow students and I share a goal of someday starting our own firms. With the help of these lectures and the “Small Firm” roundtable, we were given better insight into the entrepreneur route within this expansive industry. There were also numerous lectures on stormwater management, plants, soils, and much more. As a student, I was initially overwhelmed trying to process this information and its relativity to the working community. However, after attending these lectures I have been able to use the information as stepping-stones toward my professional future and presently connect them to my designs in school.

This year’s EXPO was extremely successful with more than 1,000 exhibitors, filled with wonderful new technology and products. There were numerous new construction materials, lights, water features, and site accessories, plus the added bonus of lots of free shirts, CDs, information, and other goodies—always a benefit for the student community. The Expo also showcased ASLA’s JobLink booth, which offered information and opportunities to talk to firms about jobs and internships.

Outside the convention center, San Francisco is a magnificent city. There were so many fabulous sites to see, such as Levi’s Plaza Park designed by ASLA Fellow Lawrence Halprin, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Lombard Street, and numerous parks and memorials. It is such a beautiful city that you never want to leave. After being at the conference and seeing it all, I must say that it was an amazing experience. There are so many people to meet and lectures to learn from. I recommend that students and professionals do whatever they can to make it to ASLA’s next conference in Philadelphia in 2008.

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