Nathan graduated in 2011 and started a job at Hawkins Partners Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee where he has now become a partner. 
1. Tell us a little about your career trajectory since you graduated from UT.
Since graduating from the University of Tennessee's Landscape Architecture program, my career has been a blend of growth, learning, and unexpected opportunities. My journey began with an internship at Hawkins Partners Inc. (HPI) during a critical and unusual period—the 2010 Nashville Flood. This event plunged the office into immediate crisis management mode, providing me a firsthand look at the resilience and adaptability required in our field and within HPI. This experience not only deepened my understanding of landscape architecture but also highlighted the type of culture and values I was seeking in a professional environment. After completing my internship, I stayed connected with HPI and, upon graduating, was fortunate to receive a full-time job offer—during a period when the economy, particularly in design and development, was quite sluggish. Although Nashville wasn't initially my top choice, HPI’s values and culture were. I eagerly accepted the offer and started my career in earnest in 2011. Over the next five years, as the economy and our projects grew in scale and complexity, I made it a point to engage deeply with the local community through various professional and civic organizations. This involvement not only helped me grow professionally but also solidified my connection to the community I was helping shape. After acquiring the necessary on-the-job experience, I obtained my professional license, which
opened up further opportunities for advancement. By 2018, I had become a partner at HPI, working closely with our leadership team on both strategic vision and daily operations. Throughout these 13 years, my education at UT and my experiences at HPI have been invaluable, guiding me through a fulfilling career in landscape architecture, deeply intertwined with community engagement and professional development.

2. What would you tell someone who is thinking about pursuing a career in landscape architecture?
Pursuing a career in landscape architecture is a wonderful choice for those who are passionate
about creativity, problem-solving, and environmental stewardship. This profession is unique in its breadth and diversity, offering various ways to practice and serve communities effectively. One of the most rewarding aspects of landscape architecture is the ability to see a project evolve from a mere concept to a fully realized design and then to actual construction. Watching your original vision come to life and positively impact people and the environment is an extraordinary experience. The process of creating something tangible and observing its influence on individuals, communities, and even entire cities is profoundly fulfilling and, in many ways, indescribable. 
The demand for skilled landscape architects across the industry is strong. As a profession, we urgently need individuals who care deeply about the environment and city building, are adept at solving complex problems, and can bring creativity to their designs. Moreover, there is a significant need for greater diversity within the profession to better reflect and serve the diverse communities impacted by our work.
Landscape architecture is not just a job; it's a fulfilling career that offers vast opportunities to find your niche and thrive. Our cities and communities are in constant need of quality landscape architects who can create spaces that are in tune with the unique needs of the environments and communities they serve. Overall, this profession offers a rewarding pathway where you can make a tangible difference while pursuing your passions.
3. Are there any fond memories of your time at UTK that you would like to share?
Like many, I have many fond memories of many hours in the studio collaborating with professors, classmates and other design students as we work to find the best and most creative solution to the project prompt. I have fond memories of field trips with Professor Sam Rogers as
a part of our studio on gateway communities. As the first graduating class from UT, I also have 
many memories of really just trying to figure out what we were doing and hoping we were doing it right to graduate and be accredited! Glad to look back and see it was all part of a great plan!
4. How has your degree in landscape architecture helped you achieve your goals?
As someone who thrives on collaboration and creativity, landscape architecture allows me to engage deeply with both people and nature. This field not only satisfies my desire for creative expression and problem-solving but also connects me directly with the environments and places I help shape. Seeing the tangible impact of my work, from broad planning and policy decisions to the intricate details of a design, is incredibly rewarding. Ultimately, everyone seeks a career that resonates with their passions—one that doesn't feel like work but rather like a calling. For me, landscape architecture has been just that. After 13 years in this profession, I am more passionate than ever and deeply grateful for how my education has enabled me to lead a fulfilling career that aligns perfectly with my interests and values.

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