During Kiara Luers’s junior year in high school, she wanted to join an elective that her friends would be in as well. However, while her friends all managed to get into the elective they wanted, Kiara did not. While disappointing at first, this turned out to be a lucky break for Kiara.
Instead of sharing an elective period with her friends, Kiara ended up in the school’s Drafting I class. Not only was she the only one of her own friends in the class, but she was also the only girl. But far from being discouraging, her drafting teacher was thrilled to have a female in the class and encouraged her to continue. Kiara signed up for Drafting II next, then Architectural drawing. She found herself looking more closely at the architecture around her.
Kiara even went on to win her school’s architecture award. And it was at the awards ceremony that something happened to change the course of her life. It was announced at the ceremony that Kiara would be going on to the University of Arkansas to major in architecture. She knew that people would be surprised that she planned to attend college in Arkansas, but she wasn’t expecting so many people to be surprised about her choice of major. Up to that point, the people in her life, like her parents and drafting teacher, had all been supportive.
Kiara remembers that her prom date’s mother told her outright that she wouldn’t make it through the architecture program. And Kiara credits that moment with the formation of her “let me prove you wrong” attitude. That same attitude helped get her through architecture school, where she was repeatedly advised to quit her job in order to make it through the program. Kiara needed the job, and she didn’t quit, but she made a plan and got through the program while working anyway.
That attitude also came into play when Kiara decided to start running marathons. Though she hadn’t enjoyed running in high school, when she was studying overseas in college, she decided to get to know the cities she was visiting by running through them. Then, she discovered a half-marathon that was scheduled in Ireland coinciding with a visit she had planned there, so she decided to sign up. She completed the half-marathon and decided to try a full marathon next. When people suggested that she couldn’t, she decided to go a step further – Kiara would complete 12 marathons in 12 months.
Listen to the episode to hear Kiara talk about her work, her exams, and how her “let me prove you wrong” attitude has helped her throughout her career.
What You’ll Hear on This Episode
- What inspired Kiara to pursue a career in architecture
- How Kiara developed a “let me prove you wrong” attitude
- How Kiara got into marathon running
- Why Kiara decided to run 12 marathons in 12 months
- What happened in Kiara’s career after architecture school
- Kiara’s ARE boot camp experience
- What’s happening in the architectural scene in Arkansas
- Kiara’s advice for aspiring architects
- What Kiara knows now that she didn’t know then
- The book that changed everything for Kiara
- Kiara’s most important resource
- Kiara’s best timesaving trick
- How listeners can find Kiara
Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode
- When people discourage you, use that for motivation instead of internalizing it.
- Architecture can be an extremely rewarding profession
- When you know you have a challenge coming up, make a plan to get through it.
Kiara Luers’s Advice for Aspiring Architects
“I think the big one is prove people wrong.”
“What I found was I didn’t realize how unbelievably rewarding this profession can be.” –Kiara Luers on what she knows today that she didn’t know back then
“I will say one book that I did feel like changed my life was your how to pass the ARE book.” –Kiara Luers on the book that changed everything
“I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this, but it’s called the Ember mug and it’s literally a coffee mug that keeps your coffee at a consistent temperature.” Kiara Luers on the resource she can’t live without
“What I’ve found for me is making a plan has always been how I’ve been able to do anything.” – Kiara Luers on her best timesaving trick
Resources Mentioned in the Show: