July 15, 2013
by Mark Pataky

This is my last week in Dallas and my last blog post for this Xchange. I spent this week wrapping up work on two education projects. I couldn’t have asked for a better core group in education to learn from, Xchange with, and spend my 3 months in Dallas working alongside. We had one last lunch together this week with Mark Vander Voort and the entire education team.
The model shop crew took me to lunch at Baby Back Shak for one more conversation about building models. Around the office, I had some fun with the office Spurs (and Mavs) fans after the recent championship won by the Miami Heat. The morning after the win, I delivered the cover of the Miami Herald hot of the press. It read: Repeat! after the Heat’s second championship win two years in a row. They were good sports and even humored me for a picture. My last day was very sad as I sought out many people around the office who I’ve come to know over the last few months and thanked them for contributing to my positive Xchange experience. Thanks to everyone who came and sent me off with one last game of Jenga at Kung Fu Saloon.
The Xchange opportunity has opened my eyes to the world of HKS. The education knowledge I brought from HKS | HADP Studio along with the ideas I gleaned from the Xchange with the education group has been invaluable to strengthening and growing the education sector of HKS. I am thankful for the opportunity to have spent the last three months working with some of the brightest and most talented people in the field of architecture. The thing I will take away most from Dallas is the collaboration and camaraderie I’ve experienced at HKS Dallas. I really felt the sentiment of the slogan “one firm.” The best part about the HKS Xchange is that three more fellows will have the Dallas Xchange opportunity this year. I encourage all future fellows to reach out and meet all the wonderful people of HKS Dallas and to travel and see as much of this great state as possible. I also encourage all employes to apply for the Xchange in the future. I hope reading about my Xchange experience will encourage others to participate and continue to build upon the One Firm mentality.


Looking back on the Xchange and my time here in Texas, I feel I’ve explored much of the state’s unique highlights. I’m thankful for this wonderful opportunity, for the great group of people I was able to work with and get to know at HKS Dallas, and to be able to share my experience through the Xchange blog. I hope y’all enjoyed it as much as I did!