Introducing BRW’s newest Architect—Sonya Shah, AIA!

When asked how it feels to be done, her response is immediate, “Incredible! And a little weird.” The slower pace of COVID life gave her more time to prepare, but now that she’s finished, she’s not quite sure what to do with all of her spare time.

Sonya started working towards licensure in 2014, but life forced her to hit pause more than once. In February of this year, she changed her outlook and hit her stride. She teamed up with peers in the Dallas office and on social media. She found that group work helped established a rhythm and she progressed steadily toward her goal. Building momentum was key to staying motivated, and keeping that momentum meant accepting and moving through failures as they arose. Sonya made use of a variety of tools to keep herself on track including keeping a journal of her process and turning to her mentors, Shea Rampy and Mark Watford, for guidance.

As for advice?

Sonya suggests getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Balancing studies, work and life is a lot to manage. Self-knowledge, self-confidence, and self-care are essential to maintaining equilibrium. If you know you’re going to experience a major life event, realize that it will probably slow your pace and be fine with that. Be patient and kind to yourself and know that you’ll find the right path.

Sonya passed her last exam on August 10th. If all had gone according to plan, she and her husband would be celebrating with a well-deserved vacation in Peru. But like so many other things, her trip was sidelined by the pandemic. And while she’d rather be exploring foreign lands, she is looking forward to getting reacquainted with her kitchen and traveling locally for the time being.

Way to go, Sonya! We are proud of your dedication and hard work!