Kendra began her studies in Landscape Architecture at Victoria University in 2009 and went on to complete her masters and graduate in December 2014. Since finishing her thesis, Kendra enjoyed working for Wraight + Associates Ltd where she was involved in projects across a variety scales, from residential, commercial and urban projects, as a graduate landscape architect.

On March 25th, Kendra took the leap ‘Stateside’ to live and pursue work in San Francisco, California. She took advantage of the J-1 working visa, which offers a unique opportunity for recent Kiwi graduates to live and work in the United States of America. Kendra initially fell in love with California, and in particular San Francisco, during a short visit there in 2012, so when the opportunity of the J-1 visa came up it was an easy decision. Kendra also plays roller hockey and ice hockey competitively, and the move was also fuelled by the opportunity to progress her hockey career in one of the biggest hockey playing counties in the world.

Since moving to San Francisco, Kendra interviewed at a number of landscape architecture firms of varying scales. She has settled at Elizabeth Everdell Garden Designs, a landscape firm based in the Presidio area of San Francisco. EEGD predominantly focuses on high-end residential and their work can be found in Atherton, Woodside, Montecito, Napa, Sonoma, Marin County, and the City of San Francisco.

California is facing one of the most severe droughts on record, which will prove to be a challenge for Kendra, and for all landscape architects in the Bay area as they face balancing client expectations with the need to conserve and limit water consumption. She is excited by the prospect of learning how native Californian vegetation can be used to create beautiful and environmentally conscious landscapes, which will thrive in these challenging climatic conditions.

Kendra encourages recent graduates to look into pursuing the J-1 working visa as it is one of the only opportunities to live, work and travel in the United States. You can live and work in the US as a University graduate on the Work USA program through IEP New Zealand. She welcomes any questions Kendramanning37@gmail.com.

Posted with the permission of Kendra Manning (originally posted on the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects

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