Knowing Your Core Values with Mandy Freeland

AIA | Mandy Freeland  

Mandy Freeland Knowing Your Core Values with Mandy Freeland Podcast

Today’s guest is Mandy Freeland, an architect with her own business in Bakersfield, California. Mandy is a past Vice President and President of AIA Golden Empire. 

In today’s episode, Mandy talks about her roots and how experiences in her childhood led her into a career in architecture. Mandy was born in Idaho, but moved to California early in her childhood after her mother got divorced.  

Mandy experienced many transitions in her childhood, including living on three different horse ranches in California. Her early experiences instilled in her certain core values, including an interest in creating dignity in housing. Mandy believes that poor people shouldn’t have to live in housing that is falling apart and she has a passion for low-income housing. She believes she has gifts for math, science, and arts, and that architecture is a combination of the three.  

In today’s interview, Mandy talks about her experience in architecture school, her first jobs in the architecture field, her experience with the architecture exams, and how she ended up running her own firm. She also talks about the importance of balancing work and family life and what it’s like to be a parent who is also an architect and business owner.  

What You’ll Hear on This Episode  

  • Mandy’s childhood and why she became interested in architecture 
  • Mandy’s core values 
  • Mandy’s architecture school experience 
  • Mandy’s first architecture job 
  • Mandy’s experience working for a contractor and what she learned from that job 
  • What happened to prompt Mandy to start her own firm 
  • Mandy’s work with AIA 
  • The process of starting a new firm 
  • Balancing family life and work 
  • Parenting while working 
  • Mandy’s experience with the architect exam 
  • Mandy’s advice for aspiring architects 
  • What Mandy knows now that she wishes she’d known before 
  • The book that changed everything for Mandy 
  • Mandy’s favorite gadget 
  • Mandy’s best time-saving trick 
  • How listeners can connect with Mandy 

Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode 

  1. Architecture is another way of helping people.
  2. People deserve dignity in housing, no matter what their income may be.
  3. Maintaining a healthy balance between work and family is an important goal 

Mandy Freeland’s Advice for Aspiring Architects 

The advice I would give for aspiring architects is don’t quit. Do not quit. When you’re going through school it’s crazy hard, and you’ve just got to get through school. School is what it is. You want to get that degree.” 

Favorite Quotes 

I know that employers don’t really care.” Mandy Freeland on what she knows today that she didn’t know back then 

“The one book that changed things for me is called Devil in the White City.”Mandy Freeland on the book that changed everything 

My favorite thing that I bought is my Nespresso coffeemaker.” –Mandy Freeland on the resource she can’t live without  

My timesaving trick is writing out my to-do list and checking the boxes.”  – Mandy Freeland on her best timesaving trick  

Resources Mentioned in the Show: 


California State University Bakersfield 

Mandy on LinkedIn 

Mandy on Instagram 


Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, Founder and Head Coach of the ARE Boot Camp Coaching Program & Online Study Group.

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