As an award-winning carpet designer with past aspirations of becoming a cosmetologist, MaTrasa Maae now puts her design skills to work as an Architectural Designer at ISG. Read on to learn how MaTrasa applies her affinity for collaboration and lifelong learning to her work!

What is your favorite part about working at ISG?

My fellow ISGers are always so willing to help others out. It makes me feel like I’m truly part of something amazing. The culture is unbeatable.

How do you like to take advantage of the expertise other employee owners have?

I am a big collaborator. I like to discuss my thoughts and ideas with others to see if they notice anything that could be enhanced or changed with what I already have. The team is always incredibly helpful because they always provide useful insight and new ways to think about projects that will best serve the client.

Do you have any favorite methods that you utilize for collaboration?

We have a lot of “visual charrette” sessions in which a group of people come together in the office to help come up with solutions to problems or design ideas for a project. It’s really neat to see one person throw out an idea and then watch that idea evolve as it is passed around the group. I am also a big “draw out my thoughts” kind of person, so I enjoy these sessions to visualize and develop ideas within this group setting.

What do you find exciting about the architecture and engineering field?

The field is forever changing, which means we get to be lifelong learners. To say the least, the A/E field is never boring. We have to think outside of the box and constantly bring new ideas to the table, and ISG is a great place to do this!

What first motivated you to become a designer?

All through high school I was set on going to cosmetology school. Then, as a senior, I had an open class slot and took a chance on taking an introduction to design course. I knew immediately that this was something I was passionate about and decided to pursue design. Then in college, I won third place in a national carpet design competition. I was sent to Las Vegas to represent my design at the HDExpo. It was my first look into the real design world and when I came to the realization that there is so much more to design than what is taught in school.

Who inspires you? Why?

I am so grateful to have so many inspiring people in my life! If I had to choose one for a shout out though, it would be my dad. He is one of the hardest working people I know, and he is always willing to lend a helping hand to others. If he isn’t working or helping friends and family, you can catch him on the golf course because work comes before play—always.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy running and biking when the Iowa weather actually allows for it! Visiting breweries, traveling with my husband, and hanging out with friends and family are also some of my favorites.

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