Portrait of Joshua Magallanes

Joshua is from Denver. He is pursuing a dual degree from the Program in Environmental Design and the Leeds School of Business. His favorite thing about ENVD is the creative freedom and sense of community amongst the faculty and students.


Joshua in Rome, outside of Tour of Italy market.Where are you from?
I’m from Denver, Colorado. I went to Denver North High School, so I was born and raised pretty close by.

What year of study are you in?
I’m in my fourth year at CU Boulder and I’m pursuing a dual degree. The first is in Environmental Design with a specialization in architecture, and the second is in operations management from the Leeds School of Business.

Why did you choose to come to CU Boulder?
It was between the University of Michigan and CU Boulder. I had the opportunity to attend an architecture summer bridge program at Michigan, but the atmosphere really didn’t click with me. But, once I came to Environmental Design at CU Boulder I just kind of knew. That’s how I made my decision.

What about ENVD attracted you the most?
The opportunities and being close to home. It’s about a 30-40 minute drive away. Also, the facilities ENVD has, like the Creative Labs Center and the Digital Media Center.

Joshua and his girlfriend at Disney World.When did you decide you were going to double major?
How do they work together?

I came in freshman year and because I did concurrent enrollment in high school, I came in with a lot of transfer credits. I could have chosen to finish my degree a semester early, but my roommates had switched their majors to business and they were telling me about all the opportunities it offered. They talked about the connections I could make and that I could tap into a really great network, because that’s what Leeds School of Business is known for.

So, I thought maybe I could try out a business minor. I was able to get involved with the Diverse Scholars Program in the business school and they put me in as a full major. Usually students have to wait a whole semester just to get into the school, but I got in a semester ahead, so I decided to try out the major and if it was too much I could just switch back to a minor.

Ultimately, what I want to do with the operations management and environmental design degree is have my own firm, or something along the lines of owning a business and do consulting. My goal is to know the business side and the design side.

Joshua at a retreat for one of his scholarship programs. What do you like most about your major?
I’d say probably the freedom you get in Environmental Design, because it’s a different world from the Leeds School of Business. The students and the professors approach things differently. For example, business is more structured with deadlines. Environmental Design still has deadlines, but you have more creative freedom. The work comes from the heart in ENVD.   

How do you stay involved on campus?
Currently, I am the co-chair for Designers Without Boundaries (DWB), which is a part of the university Diverse Scholars Program. I’m also the vice president of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), and I’m in the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, which is a co-ed professional business fraternity. I also work for Pre-Collegiate where I give campus tours to high school, middle school and elementary school students.

What do you like to do in your spare time, when you’re not in class?
I mean, I have homework all the time, but I like going hiking and playing video games. I used to longboard, but I was in a little accident and it kind of scared me, so I lightened up on it. I love watching movies and hanging out with friends too.

How would you describe your experience in ENVD and the school of business?
Both experiences are completely different. I feel like my classes in Environmental Design give me the opportunity to create a familial bond with each student, especially as the years go on and you have more laughs in class. You really get to know everyone’s study habits and how to succeed as a team.

In the school of business they try to encourage that, but it feels forced and kind of falls short of what’s in ENVD. I feel like the only way to really know people in the business school is to join a group or club within the school. That’s when you start picking up friends. It’s just really different vibes.

What advice would you give to underclassmen and future students? Joshua and his family at his Grandma's surprise birthday party.
Do your homework and never turn down an invite, especially if it’s something you’ve never tried before. I remember this opportunity came up and someone invited me to go swing dancing. I had never been swing dancing before, but I didn’t think it would be too hard. Right when I got in it was a culture shock for me, because the women actually asked the men to dance. I was asked several times but I was like “let me watch a little and then I’ll jump in.” It was just an amazing experience. So, say yes to opportunities, especially when they involve exploring different cultures and different aspects of life. Also, come to campus with an open mind, so that you can learn every individual’s story, and about their perspective before passing judgement.

What do you want to do after you graduate?
I really want to go work in a firm, and I’ve found a few that have aspects of consulting with architecture and design, as well as the business management side. I really want to do something that has the best of both worlds.