Making the Most of Your Architecture Career and AIA with Korey White

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On today’s episode of the Young Architect Podcast, Architect and 2017 AIA National Associates Committee (NAC) Chair, Korey White shares her story from studying architecture and beginning her career to helping NAC grow.

You’ll learn why there’s not just one approach to studying for the ARE’s, how NAC is growing and teaming up with other committees to help emerging professionals, and why you should consider looking beyond your local AIA chapter to join national groups.

You can also listen to this podcast on YouTube by clicking here! 

Architect and AIA National Associates Committee Chair Korey White

Architect and American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Associates Committee (NAC) Chair, Korey White, decided architecture was the perfect career path for her when she discovered that she had strong skills in both mathematics and art.

After finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the University of Illinois in 2011, Korey went on to receive both a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado – Denver.

Today, Korey works as a Project Architect for Stantec and volunteers as the 2017 National Associates Committee Chair of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

On this episode of the Young Architect Podcast, not only will you learn about Korey’s journey to becoming a licensed Architect and her ARE study method tips, but you’ll find out what the AIA is up to these days.

Together with the other AIA committees, Korey and the rest of NAC are working hard to join forces and become part of the same larger framework. All in all, their goal is to continue to work with other committees to help implement new ideas to help emerging professionals grow in their field by assisting with resources, tools, mentorship, and more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode

  • The 4 work areas that Korey and the rest of the AIA National Associates Committee want to pursue:
    • Advocacy
    • Mentorship and Diversity
    • Future Workforce
    • Strategic Partnership
  • Helping emerging professionals have the skills they need to grow in their careers.
  • How the National Design in Services Act will help professionals give back to their community.
  • Finding a good mentor, maintaining that mentorship relationship, and the resources that can help make both happen.
  • How the National Associates Committee is teaming up with the AIA Young Architects Forum to help emerging professionals.
  • Why a young architect should want to become more involved with the AIA and that National Associates Committee.
  • Korey’s experience preparing for and taking the AREs.
  • What Korey did to change her approach to studying and taking each ARE exam.
  • The importance of discovering your passion for your work.

Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode

  • There are so many different resources from the various AIA committees that can help you with your career. They’re there to help you answer important questions you may have such as ‘How can I prepare for an interview?’ or ‘How do I ask for raise?’. AIA and NAC have a lot of great data out there to help you get to where you want to be in your career.
  • There is no one correct method to prepare for the AREs. Everyone has their own approach that works for them. If one method isn’t helping you prepare, then try a different way until you discover what’s helping you learn and remember the material.
  • Look beyond your local AIA chapter and attend a national AIA conference. You’ll be astounded by the networking and career opportunities that you can discover with AIA National committees and events.

Korey White’s Advice for Aspiring Architects

“It doesn’t matter what it is, but being passionate about something is very important. Having a passion and not only exploring it, but living with it every day is really key to someone’s success and motivation. You can aspire to be a great architect or designer, but you have to find a passion for something that’s beyond just that. Otherwise, if you don’t, you’re just going to get burned out and that’s the bottom line.

You work really hard and for really long hours, but the creative process never stops. Especially for people who are brand new to their career and they’re not sure they’re job is what they want or what they should be doing. Those thoughts will pop up, but try to look beyond that and find joy and value in the work that you’re doing every day.

Discover your passion and apply that to your life in any way that you can.”

Favorite Quotes

“The best thing that the AIA can do for someone is to provide a network. That is something really valuable for anyone. Whether you’re a student, in your first job, or have been working for years and you’re trying to figure out your next step, the AIA has a ton of resources to offer that can guide you through that path.” – Korey White on the benefits of being part of the AIA to help build your career.

“No matter where you’re at in your career, there are other people who are going through the same thing as you. You can really work together to push each other through and help your careers grow. The AIA has different resources to help people learn how to have a better interview or how to ask for a raise.” – Korey White on how the AIA network is there to help you with anything you need answering or help with.

“What I love about the AIA is that it’s so big and the network is pretty enormous. You can get outside of the bubble of your local chapter and show up to a national conference to meet amazing people from all over the country who are working on incredible projects. Meeting people and staying connected through social media has been profoundly impactful.” – Michael Riscica on the national influence of the AIA.

“Studying for the AREs really calls for an individualized approach. Maybe one method happens to work for one person, but won’t work for another. Once I figured out the best approach for me, I just got into a groove and had a system all planned out.” – Korey White’s advice on studying for the AREs.

“You can’t make a plan. You can try and set goals that you can follow, but they can’t be set in stone. You need to be open to your plan changing frequently. We need to be open to opportunities that can change our life for the better.” – Korey White on why it’s better to not have a set plan and be open to new changes and opportunities.

“You can’t just set out on Day One and handle something as important as equality for women or whatever it may be. You really have to think about that goal and keep it in mind, but break it down into small steps along the way. So, when I approach a project, I think about the small steps that are going to help me accomplish my one large goal.” – Korey White on what she learned about take small steps to complete goals from the book, Sisters in Law by Linda Hirshman.

Resources Mentioned in the Show

About the author

Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect who lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon, with his Labrador Retriever. He is passionate about helping Young Architects change the world. In his free time, Michael likes to take very long bicycle rides across America. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linked In.