Always be Kind with Susan Alvarez

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Susan Alvarez

Susan Alvarez may not have known that architecture was a career option for her when she was a small child. But she displayed an aptitude for it anyway. Susan’s best friend from childhood recalls her as the girl who made towers, built bookshelves, and designed mansions for their Barbies. She enjoyed school projects that involved making models or putting things together. She put things together for her younger siblings at home as well. 

Susan says that it clicked for her in 7th grade when she had to make a floor plan as a school assignment. She ended up taking drafting in high school before pursuing architecture in college. 

Susan had a more difficult route than many – she explains that in her first semester of studio, she was pregnant, and the teachers she was working with weren’t sure that she’d make it back. But she did. She said that she found support in unexpected places, a theme that would continue throughout her life. 

In today’s episode, Susan talks about what happened to her after architecture school and the difficulty of balancing her work and studying with being a mother of four. She also discusses the ARE exams, boot camp, the Young Architect conferences series, and how she came to launch her own business recently. 

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Why Susan got interested in architecture
  • Susan’s experience in architecture school
  • What happened after architecture school
  • How Susan juggles work, studying, and family
  • Susan’s exams and how those started for her
  • How Susan found the boot camp
  • How Susan’s husband factors in
  • Susan’s new business
  • Susan’s thoughts on the Young Architect Conference
  • Susan’s advice for aspiring architects
  • What Susan knows now that she didn’t know then
  • The book that changed everything for Susan
  • Susan’s favorite resource, product, or gadget
  • Susan’s best timesaving trick
  • How listeners can find Susan

Top Three Takeaways from This Episode:

  1. Embrace where you’re at, no matter where you are.
  2. Maintaining good relationships is important.
  3. Know why you want to be a success.

Susan’s Advice for Aspiring Architects:

“Just to embrace where they’re at. Embrace the process.”

Favorite Quotes:

“Always be kind.” –Susan on what she knows today that she didn’t know back then

“Sometimes you gotta pick up the book to actually get the real truth.”  –The book that changed everything for Susan

“I love taking pictures. I love documentation.” –Susan on her favorite resource, product, or gadget

“Working out.” –Susan on her best time-saving trick

Resources Mentioned on the Show:

Susan Alvarez



Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, and the creator of Young Architect, an online platform and community dedicated to helping the next generation of Architects become the most successful generation of Architects. 
Connect: Linkedin / Facebook / Instagram

Hi there!

I’m Michael Riscica, the guy behind Young Architect. I write to help Architecture Students, ARE Candidates and Young Architecture Professionals be more successful at school, work and life!


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