Recently a high school student asked me to reflect on my career in architecture. Here are my responses:
- How did I get into this business? My mother encouraged me to do so. She supported the talents that she saw in her son. Even though I had not known an architect personally until I entered college, several family friends were contractors. And yes, I played with Lincoln Logs, Erector sets, and Legos.
- What is the best thing about your job? The best aspect of my work is seeing concepts come to reality. It is very exciting to walk through a building that has just been framed, after it has been in your head and on paper for months or years.
- What are the biggest challenges? That’s easy—government bureaucracy. Most people are surprised to learn how much government regulates the building process.
- Do you have any advice? Interview an architect and visit a school of architecture. College training is rigorous but it should be. The profession of architecture is big enough to accommodate a wide variety of talents, from math lovers who lean toward engineering to artistic types who specialize in design.