As Director in the Architecture and Design Studio at Ralph Lauren, Tim Carroll ’10 oversees design and construction for Ralph Lauren’s global freestanding flagship stores and hospitality projects.
“Fortunately for my personality type, the day-to-day is ever changing, so the material is always fresh and engaging,” he says.
His work includes liaising with internal Ralph Lauren partners in decorative, graphics, business initiatives, real estate capacities and orchestrating design presentations to the Chairman, Mr. Ralph Lauren, and other RL executives and stakeholders.
Most days are spent developing drawing sets and presenting new concepts for future RL stores and restaurants to global landlords. During the life cycle of each project, he and his team partner with outside consultants, such as additional architects, millworkers, and contractors to assist with the retail and hospitality concepts his team imagines.
He travels often in his role for key site visits, drawing and material reviews, presentations, and global store openings among other events.
Carroll did not come to his interest in architecture until later in his high school studies, but he was attracted to all things creative while growing up within proximity to New York City. He enjoyed drawing, painting, and music.
Throughout high school, Carroll realized he had a strong aptitude for math, physics, and science. “Fortunately, I discovered that architecture was a harmonious combination of many of my key interests, passions, and skillsets before I researched potential colleges,” says Carroll.
The Notre Dame architecture program was rigorous, offering a strong classical foundation and connections with a network of alumni in his field. The Rome Studies Program, a required year in Rome for all architecture majors, was a major selling point for Carroll too.
“The takeaways from this experience were many,” he says. “First and foremost, to be able to experience such historic beauty and culture during your formative years is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. As a designer, the culture, the people and the places you have experienced really are at the forefront of your identity. I could never put a price tag on this experience. Second, to have the opportunity to embark on such an adventure with some of the closest friends you make at Notre Dame, truly is an experience of a lifetime.”
While based in Rome, Carroll and his friends traveled throughout Italy and many other European countries.
“It is funny how one tends to realize more clearly, often many years later, just how important and life-altering experiences can be,” says Carroll. “While you’re aware something is special in the moment, it is sometimes hard to fully grasp the magnitude or the lasting positive impact these experiences may have on your life. This was certainly the case for me during my college years spent in South Bend and Europe. I will look back at them fondly."
The relationships Carroll formed at Notre Dame remain special to him. In addition to his Rome experience, Carroll connected with alumni who helped him navigate the competitive world of securing architectural summer internships in New York City.
“If nothing else, I believe the program has taught me the importance of working hard and putting your best foot forward, never to take potential opportunities lightly,” says Carroll. “Good opportunities come and go, but you have to keep yourself open. It may be a challenge to remain strong and confident enough in yourself to pursue what speaks to you, even when others may not always see the potential opportunity in the same light.”
Carroll wants prospective students to know that architecture is a combination of many different skillsets. Students from Notre Dame’s program become modern Renaissance men and women with a strong ability to bring value to the table in many professional roles.
“There may be expectations from professors to pursue certain areas of architecture, as was the case when I graduated. Do not miss the bigger picture,” says Carroll. “You can do anything with this degree, whether it be in real estate, law, business or graphic design. It matters most how you choose to brand yourself and ultimately what speaks to you.” The first step is to take advantage of those opportunities as they come your way.