Progress, Not Perfection with Emily Burton

Emily Burton

Podcast Emily Progress, Not Perfection with Emily Burton Podcast

Emily spent her formative years in Los Angeles, and she originally saw herself becoming a famous celebrity, perhaps an actress or a singer. 

She began to think of architecture as a possibility after her mother married her stepfather, a contractor. He observed that she enjoyed drawing and creative work and was also interested in home upgrades and improvements, so he suggested that architecture might be a career path for her. In high school, her family moved to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, her mother’s birthplace, and her mother and stepfather opened a construction business there. The work she witnessed helped interest Emily further in the business. 

Emily also remembers a 10th-grade history teacher who downplayed the importance of a math final by telling the class that none of them were ever going to build a bridge. Emily thought to herself that she might build a bridge, and that reaction helped push her toward architecture as a career path. 

In today’s episode, Emily talks about her experimental and theory-heavy architecture education that wasn’t what she thought it would be. She also discusses her experience with the AREs and what happened when she didn’t pass them as quickly as she assumed she would, as well as the dangers of perfectionism. Listen in to learn about what Emily has learned and what she’s doing now. 

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Why Emily got interested in architecture
  • What architecture school was like for Emily
  • What happened for Emily after school was over
  • Emily’s experience studying for the AREs
  • How Emily got into the Boot Camp
  • How COVID affected Emily’s exam experience
  • Why Emily liked talking about taking the exams
  • Big changes in Emily’s life since she finished the exams
  • Finding the type of learning environment that worked for Emily
  • Emily’s advice for aspiring architects
  • What Emily knows now that she didn’t know then
  • The book that changed everything for Emily
  • Emily’s favorite resource, product, or gadget
  • Emily’s best time saving trick
  • How listeners can find Emily

Top Three Takeaways from This Episode:

  1. Pay attention when people tell you they notice your strengths.
  2. Don’t be afraid to talk about your successes and failures.
  3. Go after the support you need. 

Emily’s Advice for Aspiring Architects:

“Aspiring architects: please give yourself the permission to pursue the support you need. Invest in yourself, and when you do, it will motivate you and give you a sense of purpose.”

Favorite Quotes:

“Something that I realized pretty recently is that being a perfectionist is actually not such a great thing.”  –Emily on what she knows today that she didn’t know back then

“So the book is Everything is Figureoutable, by Marie Forleo.” –The book that changed everything for Emily

“I actually have it right here, it’s my Corkcicle.” –Emily on her favorite resource, product, or gadget

“I highly recommend batch cooking.” –Emily on her best timesaving trick

Resources Mentioned on the Show:

Emily Burton


Michael Riscica

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

Hi I’m Michael Riscica.

My goal is to help as many people as I can PASS their exams and succeed in their architecture careers.

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