Arlington Career Center | 816 S. Walter Reed St. | Arlington, VA | 22204

ACC Chronicle

ACC Chronicle

Arlington Career Center | 816 S. Walter Reed St. | Arlington, VA | 22204

ACC Chronicle

PBL Freshman Cornerstone Town Hall
Uncategorized
PBL Freshman Cornerstone Town Hall
Amna Abdelbagi, Staff Reporter • May 24, 2024

It's finally that time of the year, the Cornerstone Town Hall that everyone has been waiting for! After all the ninth graders' hard work, students...

Bites on the Pike: Lost Dog Café
Community & Beyond
Bites on the Pike: Lost Dog Café
Clara Golner and Ilana HofferMay 24, 2024

Within the first moments of walking inside, the smell of tasty Italian food fills your nose. You look around at the art on the walls, listen...

Bites on the Pike: Ididos Coffee
Community & Beyond
Bites on the Pike: Idido's Coffee
Amna Abdelbagi, Staff Reporter • May 20, 2024

Only five minutes away from ACC, Idido’s Coffee should definitely be on your next “to-go” list! Idido’s Coffee is a cafe designed for...

Bites on the Pike: Ryu Izakaya
Community & Beyond
Bites on the Pike: Ryu Izakaya
Clara Golner and Ilana HofferMay 20, 2024

Ryu Izakaya is a small restaurant camouflaged among the many on Columbia Pike, but it is truly a hidden gem. When you walk inside, you are immediately...

Street Advocate Club
Clubs & Extras
Street Advocate Club
Cody Finnegan, Clara Golner, and Bella WeslowMay 20, 2024

One of ACC’s newer clubs is the Street Advocates Student Coalition (SASC), started by junior Cody Finnegan. The SASC’s mission is “to bring...

Career Profile: Cathy Pinskey, Director of Mason Facilities

Career Profile: Cathy Pinskey, Director of Mason Facilities

Pursuing a career in architecture can often feel like putting all your eggs in one basket. However, Cathy Pinskey shows that architecture is more than meets the eye by exploring several aspects of the architecture field throughout her career. Pinskey first ignited her passion for architecture in a high school Industrial Arts class where she had the opportunity to try drafting designs for houses. From then on, she pursued architecture to its fullest extent in college at the University of Buffalo while interning at small architectural firms over the summer. Years later, she is now the Program Director of Mason Facilities at George Mason University where she oversees projects to expand GMU’s campuses. In such a large position, Pinskey has gained so much experience by exploring the many parts of the world of architecture fields.

In the beginning of her career, Cathy Pinskey worked at an architectural engineering firm working on a project for an airport expansion. The project was set to last five years, however, Pinskey only stayed at the firm for two years. From this, she said she learned that long-term projects weren’t as intriguing to her stemming right from college–a step forward into finding her niche in the industry. While seeing a project through its completion and entire creative process can be interesting, it’s equally as important to assess what holds more value in a career. The length of projects that Pinskey worked on from then on fluctuated, but discovering that longer projects weren’t best suited for her at that time set her on a path to finding where best she could make an impact and set herself up for success.

Throughout her career, Cathy took chances at different job opportunities in order to find what she loved most. After gaining more experience in the workforce, Cathy went on to work at Drexel University as an architect for their campuses. Here, she dove into a different line of work that focused on shorter term projects, aiming to explore that timeline. In this job, she found that the short-term projects had many constraints and she discovered that jobs with a limited scope weren’t the best for her either. However, she liked that she was able to work with an owner between the firm and the university and users, translating what researchers suggested into projects.

Moving farther south to the DC area, Pinskey started working at GMU as an architect working on space management projects within their existing buildings on the Arlington campus. In the past 20 years, she’s held several jobs at Mason, many reaching beyond the skills of an architect in areas such as leadership. Her current position allows her to communicate with architects, contractors, electricians, while working to budget, permit, and schedule long term projects. At this point, she has come full circle and works on 5+ year projects frequently. Working on many types of projects significantly improved her experience overall and sharpened her skillset to help her earn jobs like the one she works now. With a broad scope and well-rounded skill set, Cathy has produced several architectural works and worked on a variety of projects just through Mason. Getting her foot in Mason’s door and using her skillset allowed her to build up to the position she holds today. 

Overall, it’s important to note how Cathy Pinskey has done it all. Working on large and small scale projects for universities, airports, and more. What you can draw from this as the reader is that taking opportunities in a wide range of places that offer different things may benefit you in ways you may not expect–in terms of career exploration. Cathy’s inspirational experience navigating the world of architecture-related jobs can show us that there is so much to gain in this field.

About the Contributor
Maggie Odar
Maggie Odar, Lead Designer, Reporter, Editor, Social Media Manager
Maggie Odar is a Junior at Arlington Tech working on website development and design for the Career Center Chronicle. She is a dedicated student with a passion for architecture and engineering-like subjects. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her two cats and listening to music.