Leadership Academy Scholar Daniel Joseph Allen
Chicago, Illinois

Major and Graduation

Architecture – May 2022 

Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals are interesting as a thought process. What determines the "short term," and how often must those goals be updated? When practicing the goal-setting exercise, I generally find myself breaking the short-term into two camps: a current life season and immediately actionable items to be implemented within that life season. I thus find it important to reevaluate goals with each new season I find myself in. The season of life I currently consider myself to be in is that of academia. This is a rare and invaluable experience for me to be a part of, so, as a student, I have made it a goal to take advantage of the limited time I have in this season. What this means is I have made it a priority to challenge myself in my classes, make use of the wealth of resources and knowledge banks made available to me, and develop myself to become a well-rounded individual. I aim to keep a curious mindset, searching for the value in everything that I do, whether I like it or not, and looking for new ways to learn inside and out of the classroom. What this looks like in practice - the immediately actionable items - varies considerably. I try to stay active and engaged in my classes, striving first and foremost to learn rather than achieving a letter grade. From a social standpoint, this means engaging with my peers to form meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. I make it a goal to maintain a diverse range of connections from various academic walks, from students to faculty. Additionally, I have found it productive to participate in and take on leadership roles within student organizations, providing me with a social forum and a means to explore ideas outside of the classroom. 

Long-Term Goals

As short-term goals, plans for the long term are extremely vital but can be more difficult to precisely quantify. My strategies for long-term planning have evolved over the years from producing a specific roadmap with an end to identifying my skills and interests more broadly. In addition, I frequently ask myself what kind of person I want to be and what kind of person I am okay with being even if I cannot be everything that I want. This has allowed me more freedom in my own personal pursuits and has given me more contentment in life overall. I am less interested in specifically defining a profession as I am a way of living and a means of pursuing my passions. As of now, I am particularly interested in problem-solving. I am inspired by the more current issues facing our generation, like climate change, mass immigration, and social justice. My passion for problem-solving has led me to design in the realm of architecture - one of the few fields that touch on such topics as ecology, social science, philosophy, and creative pursuits all at once. This has manifested itself as a pursuit of mine, so much so that it has determined many of my future goals, such as obtaining a Master's Degree in landscape architecture, professional licensure, and a career within the realm of design. At this time, however, I still look to remain loose when it comes to strict career choices, so I prefer instead to look at what kinds of things I want to be doing in my future. Those things include helping other people through design-based solutions, being actively engaged in environmental activism/change, and remaining curious. I aim to develop habits now that I want to bring into my future, so things like reading, physical fitness, and meaningful conversations are all actions I am to repeat as often as I can. 

Leadership Experience

  • Director - iitAIAS Freedom by Design, Current.
  • Project Manager - iitAIAS Freedom by Design, 2018-19.
  • Finance Chair - iitAIAS Freedom by Design, 2017-2018
  • Baseball Team Captain - CMSA High School, 2016-2017
  • Lifeguard - Chicago Park District, 2015-2018
  • Junior Lifeguard Coach - Chicago Park District, 2016
  • Sound Technician - Uptown Baptist Church, 2015-2016
  • Senior Patrol Leader - Boy Scout Troop 923, 2015-2016