After moving to the US from her home country of Albania when she was just 12 years old, Denada Bakiasi knew as soon as she arrived that she would take advantage of every opportunity that was afforded to her. She learned of the Designery program from her older sister, who was referred a few semesters earlier by her teacher. Denada ended up enjoying the program so much that she participated for four semesters in a row, including a summer internship at local design firm, Fennnick McCredie Architecture. She was able to participate in several Designery projects, including a mural for a Dudley area non-profit, a redesign for Brighton High’s school cafeteria, and the design of a greenhouse classroom at the Learning Prep School for students with language and learning disabilities (her favorite project). Most of all, she was thrilled to have an opportunity to work in a real design firm through her internship.
Denada was surprised to discover that working at Fennick McCredie was very flexible. “We could come in when we wanted, leave when we wanted, eat lunch when we wanted…” She was also delighted to find that she was able to have a voice at the firm. “The people I worked with were very accepting of everyone else- they respected every idea.” She adds another note about Fennick’s firm culture; “I loved the atmosphere- everyone was united. The desks weren’t separated.” For Denada, a typical day at the office looked like this: come into the building, open Sketchup, and build. She loves working on the computer, and even built one of Boston’s largest and most iconic buildings, the Prudential Tower, in Sketchup to help the group study the tower’s façade. Her experience was very different from her time at The Designery, where most of her projects were more hands-on. However, both experiences involved building prototypes, whether they were digital or analogue models, which ended up becoming a reality. “It’s really satisfying” she says.
That’s why Denada has chosen to pursue Architecture in college. She’s applying to several schools, including her top choice: Northeastern University. Denada loves working with computers and learning about new technologies. She prides herself on her leadership skills, and dreams of one day owning her own business. She’s come a long way from her younger days in Albania when she wanted to be a surgeon. She’s learning more about herself and her passions and talents. Regarding her experience at the Designery and Fennick McCredie, she recalls thinking to herself , “most people my age are working fast food, or for Dunkin Donuts, but I’m here having fun!”. She hopes to continue having fun while supporting her family financially by pursuing a blended career in design and technology. YBB wishes Denada the best of luck in all her future endeavors!