Meet Albino Jr: How I Started My Building Design Career in Canada

Examples of architectural renderings done by Albino Jr Geanga

Albino Jr Geanga immigrated to Canada several years ago, hoping to start a career in building design.

But even though he already had an architecture degree from the Philippines, he couldn't get hired without additional training in Canadian building codes and specifications.

Albino decided to take the Building Design Technician program at Herzing College Toronto. He graduated in 2018 and has successfully re-launched his career here in Canada.

We interviewed Albino to learn more about his story, and find out what he thought of Herzing's building design program.  

He told us about the skills he learned, his experience in class, and the design jobs he got after graduation.

He also shared some great advice for new students who want to start careers in building design. Here are the highlights from our interview.

Q: Albino, can you tell us a bit about your background? What were you doing before you went back to school?

Albino: I am not originally from Toronto. I moved to Canada in 2013 from an Arab country, where I was working. But Malaysia is where I was born and raised. I completed college in the Philippines, where I earned my B.S Architecture.

After I graduated, I was hired by a local company and that's where my career in architecture began. After coming to Toronto, I found work in a printing company.

Then, I decided to get back on track and restart my architectural design career here in Canada.


Q: What was your main goal in studying building design? What skills did you hope to learn?

Albino: I needed to understand the scope of architecture and the field of knowledge here in Canada. I have worked in Asian and Arab countries, where the practices and codes are similar...but there are different specifications to learn here.

I wanted to keep building on the knowledge I learned at college back home. I wanted to combine that knowledge and work experience with the new skills I learned at Herzing, to continue my architecture career in Toronto.

It's a whole new world for me here, where the learning never stops!  


Architectural design rendering by Albino Jr    Design concept by Albino Jr Geanga


Q: Why did you choose Herzing for building design?   

Albino: It's simple. I decided to choose Herzing College because of the timing of the program and the convenient class schedule. The campus was in the right location for me, and the staff was very nice and welcoming.


Q: What was your overall opinion of the program?

Albino: I loved every part of it. The most challenging part was if I missed class. The training moves quickly, and if you miss something you have to work hard to catch up. You learn a lot in just 12 months.


Architectural design rendering by Albino Jr 2Design rendering by Albino Jr Geanga


Q: What did you think of your instructor and classmates?

Albino: In my group, we had people from all different backgrounds. It's so nice to have a group like that because you can see and learn from each individual—the different ways they approach architectural design.

Mr. Jacob Allderdice was my instructor. He definitely has the knowledge and professional experience to teach the building design class. He shares his knowledge with all the students and is very supportive.

He was always ready to help anyone who was having trouble in a particular topic or part of the program.


Q: What kind of design job do you have now? Can you describe the projects you're working on?

Albino: In my first job after Herzing, we were doing steel works. We designed architectural steel features and steel detailing.

But now, I just joined a new company and my new job is in timber design and detailing. All of the projects are related to architectural design.

That's the advantage if you are in the field of architecture. There are so many specializations to choose from, depending on the discipline you are interested in.


Architectural design examples by Albino Jr Architectural layouts and technical drawings by Albino Jr Geanga


Q: How long did it take to find a building design job after you graduated from Herzing?

Albino: Finding a job in building design doesn't take long, especially if you have the experience, knowledge, and education.

In my class, every one of us started at the bottom and have been steadily moving up, gaining experience, and becoming successful. 


Q: In your opinion, what are the most important skills to be successful in building design?

Albino: You really do need a lot of patience to do this work well. Also, you have to make sure you always get your work done on time.

Everything must be very neat, accurate, and will probably have to stay up late some nights to complete your work!

And never forget to be humble. We must learn from our mistakes. Every day in this job is a learning process.


Q: Any advice for new students who are just starting out in building design?

Albino: For new students, focus on the area of building design that you really enjoy. Once you find that passion, you can look ahead to finding stable, great employment in that area.

Remember that just because we age, that doesn't mean we stop learning. Building design is a vast field of knowledge, with a lot of career opportunities.

If you already have some experience (education or employment from your home country), Herzing's program is the best way to upgrade and start your career in Canada. Good luck!!


Thank you Albino Jr for sharing your story with us. We're so proud of your success and wish you a long and happy design career!


learn more about Building design Training

The Building Design Technician program is available at Herzing College Toronto. This diploma is 12 months and includes a guaranteed eight-week work placement at a local design company.

Students learn the Ontario Building Code, AutoCAD 2D and 3D, blueprints, computer graphics, the principles of architectural design, and the technical skills needed to get hired.

Click below to explore the program in more detail and chat live with admissions. We're here to help!

Explore the Building Design Technician Program


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