From Artist to Architect with Christine Monaghan

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Christine Monaghan 

Christine Monaghan says that she is not one of those architects who played with Legos and knew that they wanted to be an architect as a child. Instead, Christine wanted to be an artist and own her own art gallery. And while she was interested in math and science, in school she was mostly preoccupied with her dream of being an artist.  

In high school, Christine entered contests and won some art awards, and was even accepted to her dream art school. However, her parents were somewhat skeptical of Christine’s plans and encouraged her to explore alternatives. While touring state schools, Christine’s father even suggested that she try for a career in architecture, but at the time, Christine rejected the idea, based on her belief that architecture was a career for men.  

The idea must have taken root, however, because Christine eventually made the decision to try a community college architecture program. In today’s interview, you’ll hear about Christine’s path to architecture school, the early steps in her career, and her experience taking the AREs and dealing with test anxiety. Christine also discusses what it’s like being an architect and a mom at the same time.  

What You’ll Hear on This Episode  

  • What inspired Christine to pursue a career in architecture 
  • How architecture school went for Christine 
  • Working while going to architecture school 
  • What happened after Christine graduated 
  • Christine’s boot camp experience 
  • How Christine handled the architect exams 
  • What’s been happening for Christine post-AREs 
  • What it was like to have a baby while working on the AREs 
  • Being a mom and an architect 
  • Christine’s advice for aspiring architects 
  • What Christine knows now that she didn’t know then 
  • The book that changed everything for Christine 
  • The resource Christine can’t live without 
  • Christine’s best time-saving trick 
  • Where listeners can find Christine 

Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode 

  1. Make a plan and work through it 
  2. You have to create your own luck 
  3. Remember that you have to prove yourself and earn trust 

Christine Monaghan’s Advice for Aspiring Architects 

“Make a plan and work your plan.” 

Favorite Quotes  

“What I know today is that trust is earned and not given.” –Christine Monaghan on what she knows today that she didn’t know back then 

“I’m also a big sucker for an inspirational story.” Christine Monaghan on the book that changed everything 

“I’d say my simple FitBit watch.” Christine Monaghan on the resource she can’t live without 

“It’s just like highlighting my emails on my phone, or texts, and I have Siri read it back to me while I can do other things.” Christine Monaghan on her best time-saving trick  

Resources Mentioned in the Show: 

Christine Monaghan 
Christine on Instagram 


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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