Published: May 20, 2020

 Brandon RodriguezTexas native and sustainable planning & urban design major Brandon Rodriguez will be working as a wildland firefighter in Oregon after graduation. 

 Brandon RodriguezThank you for pushing me to want to be better at certain aspects of design.

What inspired you to come to ENVD?
I wanted to expand my knowledge of the built environment around me. From a young age, I was always curious as to how the built environment became what it is and why the built environment looks the way it does. Once I discovered the power EVND can have on a community I knew it was a group of people I wanted to be apart of forever.

What is one of the greatest experiences or lessons from your time at CU Boulder that you'll carry with you into the next chapter of your life?
One of the greatest experiences came from the jury reviews. There was a review early on in my four years that went terrible and I remember telling myself "That will never happen again." Ever since that moment, there was a chip on my shoulder that pushed me to want to win every critique and be better each time I gave a presentation.

Based on what you know now, what is your best piece of advice for other students?
Believe in your design no matter what anyone tells you. Having unmitigated self-confidence will take you farther than your design in my opinion. You must be able to sell your idea or design to jurors or your professors and in order to do that will -in my opinion- you must be able to believe in yourself before your design.

Favorite memory?
One of my favorite memories comes from my time spent in San Juan, TX which was an opportunity that came from me taking Danielle Riveras Senior Planning Studio. The energy of the students in the studio, as well as the commitment everyone had to want to make a change in the community, solidified that if you are willing to work day in and day out with the community you will make a difference.

What does graduating from college represent for you?
Graduation represents being given an opportunity to achieve a goal not many get to achieve. My grandmother always told me when I was younger "Once you have an education, no matter what it is in no one can take it away from you".

What are your plans beyond graduation?
After graduation, I will be working as a wildland firefighter and be based out of Oregon. After my time working as a wildland firefighter I want to pursue my passion for the outdoors specifically in Fly Fishing and Hunting. I want to work with agencies that support public lands and public waters through policy development and community engagement.