• Student Stories: Angie Reed

  • Architectural Engineering Technology

    From the time she was a young child, AET student Angie Reed was obsessed with space, visual images, and designs. “I could picture things,” Reed said. “I always dreamed about houses. I loved reading, because I could imagine all the details in the scenery. And I loved using my hands to create things.”

    From pictures in her head, to drawing and dreaming, she eventually studied interior architecture at the University of Oregon and became an interior designer. Although she left the university with only one class short of a bachelor’s degree, and has operated a successful small business for several years, Angie enrolled at Mt. Hood Community College in fall 2006 and is starting all over again.

    “Like a lot of women,” Reed said,” I was encouraged to go into interior design, rather than the more technically demanding field of architecture. Now I really need to upgrade my skills and my business, so that I can pay for my children’s education and plan for retirement too. ” Her full time school load includes math, technical writing, computer-aided drafting, and engineering design.

    With her degree, she will be able to advance her interior design skills by adding technical training and work with engineers on large commercial projects, where contracts and earnings will be significantly larger and more reliable.

    “This is a great field for women, including older women.” Reed said. “I was afraid of the math at first, but now I have learned that I can do anything. And besides, as a woman with work experience, I already have excellent communication and teamwork skills.” Reed enjoys the fact that her courses are all hands-on, and that she will be able to use all these skills to her advantage.

    Angie’s age and work experience are definite advantages in the college environment, she says. “I’m not afraid to ask questions… I don’t hold back. I feel like I’m taking control of my life.” To older workers and to women Reed offers these words: “Everyone’s timing is different. But you’re never too old to start something new!”