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ms Q+A

ms Q+A: Jeff Jilek

Maggie Kearns Francis

May 19, 2020

Jeff in 100 Words or Less

I have been interested in architecture since high school and was in the Architecture and Construction Management (ACM) program at Gahanna Lincoln. From there, I went onto The Ohio State University and eventually Arizona State, receiving both my MBA and Master of Architecture. Outside of the office, I am involved in AIA Committee on Design, on the Columbus Board of May We Help, and the ACM Advisory Committee.

The Speed Round

What was your first job?

My first job was a paper boy for the Columbus Dispatch. My brother originally held the position and so I inherited his route when I was ready. It taught me how to run my own books and basic customer service. It was a bummer waking up early but it made me financially handsome for a middle school kid.


Next item to cross off your bucket list?

I would love to backpack through Europe. I think that would be amazing from a personal development standpoint. I would be most excited to meet the random travelers along the way.


Best concert you’ve attended?

Bonnaroo 2006 was a heck of a concert. Radiohead, Tom Petty, and Phil Lesh and Friends were the headliners. It was a memorable weekend. Other concerts of note are Built to Spill at the Basement, Damien Marley and The Wailers at Express Live, and Soul Position at Little Brothers.


Early bird or night owl?

I am both. I become physically drained around 3 pm and usually recover around 6 pm. I am phenotypically geared for a siesta.


Sweet or salty?



If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?



How do you approach traveling on vacation – do you make an itinerary or just explore?

Just explore. I enjoy intentionally getting lost and ending up at a place. It is usually somewhere pretty amazing. In Paris, for instance, I ended up at a house party hosted by some people I met at a coffee shop. I was glad to have gone “off the beaten path” and to have successfully avoided the tourist traps.


If you could live in a fictional world from a movie or book, which would you choose?

I really like Pandora from Avatar. It is a really beautiful, interesting place.


Farthest you’ve traveled from home?



If you could have an endless supply of one food, which would you choose?

Chicken casserole


If you had an extra hour of time in each day, how would you use it?

I would actually finish my novel.

Tell Us More

What sets ms apart from other engineering & architecture firms?

Our shear breadth of services sets us apart from many other firms. We are literally a full-service firm. Whenever someone asks me what my firm does I usually tell them, “everything.”


What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned while working at ms?

Coming from a very small “boutique” firm, I didn’t know what to expect moving to a larger one. I was surprised to find out that even though the firm is larger than my previous, you are usually working with a small, close-knit team.


If you weren’t an architect, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t an architect and money wasn’t an issue, I’d be a writer. I love espousing and exploring ideas and, especially with works of fiction, the possibilities are endless. The most advanced technologies become blasé and the most outlandish of worlds become home.


What would you go back and tell your 22 year old self?

Don’t worry so much!


You’ve got one day in Columbus. What do you do?

I wake up and make sure to grab a cup of coffee at Upper Cup Coffee Co. For lunch, I go to the North Market to get ramen. I’d make sure to go to the Book Loft to browse the science fiction section. Probably dinner at Little Palace and at some point jogging over to 16 Bit to make sure I get the daily high score in Tapper. For the evening, I’d be sure to check out one of the concerts or dance parties in the city.


What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy watching movies, reading books, going to concerts, or vegging out especially with friends and family.


Any final words?

Be excellent to each other.