Melody Bazzle listens in class.

Melody Bazzle, front, will graduate from Clemson in May with a dual degree in architecture and construction science and management.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

For some, career aspirations are inspired by a favorite teacher or book.

For Melody Bazzle, it was HGTV.

The graduating senior was initially admitted to Clemson as a psychology major, but while watching television with her mom one summer day in Summerville, South Carolina, before her freshman year, she realized her interest in design could be more than an idle hobby to pass time.

“We were sitting on the couch watching HGTV, and I said, ‘How do I do this?’ And that’s what set me on the path that led me to where I am today,’ Bazzle said.

After arriving at Clemson, Bazzle worked with advisers and was able to take several architecture classes her first semester and was eventually accepted into the program. Her third year in, she realized that even though she enjoyed design, she wanted to understand the structural element of construction even more.

“I spoke with my adviser after studying architecture in Genoa for the summer and decided to start taking construction science courses,” Bazzle said. “Then, in 2016, I took a summer internship with Balfour Beatty Construction, and that truly solidified my decision to continue pursuing a second major.”

Because she was already close to finishing her Bachelor of Arts in architecture, Bazzle decided to complete the program while picking up a second degree in construction science and management.

“I’ve learned that you should never underappreciate your hobbies and the things you find yourself attracted to. If I hadn’t done that in the first place, then I wouldn’t have been in school for the past six years. But honestly, I’ve loved every second of it and taken advantage of every opportunity.”

And she did make the most of her time at Clemson.

As an undergraduate, Bazzle joined the American Institute of Architecture Students Clemson chapter as their webmaster and became president; studied in Genoa, Italy, at one of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities’ Fluid Campuses; spent two weeks in Irvine, California, to participate in the Solar Decathlon competition, constructing an award-winning sustainable home; worked with a team of students to design and build a mobile theater during a summer program in Asheville, North Carolina.; helped build multiple Habitat for Humanity homes; joined Students Helping Honduras where she helped construct schools and a library for students in El Progreso, Honduras; and lived in Leeds, England, to study construction at the local university.

“Having the opportunity to study abroad opened my eyes to how other countries approach architecture and construction, and the Solar Decathlon competition was a great hands-on learning experience,” Bazzle said.

During her last semester as a Tiger, Bazzle has been focused on creating a project management plan for the new business school for her capstone project.

Now the time has come for Bazzle to walk across the stage in Littlejohn Coliseum to receive her well-earned degrees. Afterward, she will trade in her graduation cap for a hard hat as she begins her next journey as a field engineer with Robins & Morton. In her new position she will work in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Duke University Health System’s new tower for its Duke Raleigh Hospital Campus.

“I initially met with Robins & Morton recruiters during the career fair the construction science management department holds every year,” Bazzle said. “Then, earlier this year, I had an opportunity to tour the Medical University of South Carolina’s new children’s hospital, which Robins & Morton is working on, and it was love at first sight. I knew I really wanted to be part of their team and work with a company constructing buildings that positively impact the lives of those around it.”

Bazzle is ready to get her hands dirty and learn with her boots on the ground, but she won’t soon forget her experience as a Tiger.

“I know I’ll be able to call some of my professors five years from now, and they’ll pick up; those are the people who have helped shape and define my experience,” Bazzle said. “I’m glad I ended up at Clemson. It’s true what they say – Clemson is a family, and you just get a feeling when you’re here.”