2.14 *ATTA GIRL*One Woman’s Portfolio Life in the Built Environment

Nancy J. Sanquist


Thinking about the last 40 plus years of my life learning, working, traveling, and volunteering, I realize I have had a “portfolio life.” This is a term used by Professor Lynda Gratton of London Business School, describing how to “reimagine work” today. It means a departure from the normal linear progression in the stages of life (school – work – retirement) where one takes a more circuitous route by dividing time doing paid and unpaid work, taking time off along the way and indulging one’s passions while following multiple career paths.

This sums up my life’s journey; while working for salaries in the built environment, including two new professions, one in historic preservation of cities and buildings, and the other in facility management, I also volunteered in various community endeavors. Along the way, I indulged my passions for viewing and collecting art, traveling around the world, working with the latest technologies and visiting and saving great architecture (ATTA). Having insatiable curiosity can lead one to a life of continuous learning and careers that are meaningful, and purpose driven. Plus merging the sciences and the arts are a great combination for a truly fulfilling life where good salaries and opportunities can feed one’s passions (see Photo 1).

Photo 1 NJS by ...

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