Kurt Neubek initially planned to talk to Texas A&M College of Architecture students about the importance of collaboration in practice. The Page healthcare architect and principal ended up sharing career advice with his audience as well:
Consider The Size of The Firm
- On small firms - and small projects - you'll be part of a small team as well. It may even just be you and one senior architect. This will be beneficial early in your career because you'll get to work directly with the client and experience all aspects of the project from programming through design, then construction documents, and finally construction contract administration. You'll certainly wear many hats and learn which aspects you enjoy most.
- Larger projects require more people, and large firms tend to have more specialists such as programmers, medical planners, project architects, BIM model managers, interior designers, landscape architects, spec writers, CA specialists, etc., etc. On a large project, you may only get to experience a smaller part of the project, but you'll get to work with - and learn from - people with decades of experience and expertise in their specialty. Be sure to learn all you can from them.
Consider How to Always Add Value
- Deliver complete work products and be extremely dependable in the quality of your work.
- Create a reputation as a quick learner. You can accelerate your career by demonstrating knowledge and skills beyond what is expected for your age and experience.
- Whatever tools you're using — Revit or Excel, for example — go out of your way to learn them extraordinarily well. Don’t just rely on whatever training you received at school or at your office. People who can use tools better than others get noticed.
- Bring relevant knowledge beyond your years. Read, study, and really immerse yourself in a regulation that interests you, such as the International Building Code, the Life Safety Code, or the Americans with Disabilities Act. Watch videos and take online courses. If you understand any regulations as well as the senior people you're working with, you will also advance much faster than your peers.
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