Q+A with Alia Stebelton, Architect (Dearborn)
How do you describe your job to people outside of the industry?
I start off by telling people I’m an architect that primarily works on industrial automotive buildings. After the initial confusion, I explain how I assist in designing, 3d modeling, and producing drawings for the “big metal boxes” you can see from the highway. All jokes aside, describing being an architect to those outside of the industry is usually a mixture of explaining that we are problem solvers, we do a lot more than draw, and that most of us do not design houses.
Why did you decide to become an architect?
My dad was a civil engineer and really encouraged me to go into engineering. I was always more on the creative side, so I looked into architecture and interior design instead. I took a summer camp my junior year of high school at Lawrence Tech (where I ended up going for college), and it helped me decide to pursue architecture versus my plan b option of going to culinary school and opening a cheesecake shop (you could say I chose the more “practical” option).
How would you describe life at Ghafari?
Life at Ghafari has exceeded my expectations. I’ve felt very comfortable, supported, and encouraged. Ghafari has a great group of people to work with and learn from.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened during your time here?
Working on the GM Wallace Battery Lab project was the most complex project I’ve worked on to date and has been a whirlwind experience. It feels great to be a part of the future of the automotive industry. I was also heavily involved from start to finish, making the experience of seeing it all come together very rewarding.
Another exciting thing that happened with the support and encouragement of the company was achieving my goal of becoming a licensed architect last year.
What is a key idea or lesson you have learned while working at Ghafari?
Always ask questions and communicate when you don’t know something. I’ve learned so much from my teammates by just asking questions.
How do you like to spend your free time?
In my free time, I write fiction, blog about dog-friendly travel, and read a lot! You’ll usually find me either planning my family’s next adventure, experimenting with a new recipe in the kitchen, biking, failing at golf, or spending time with my husband and mini-goldendoodle, Kirby.