Congrats are in order!
BRW is pleased to welcome 3 new architects to our ranks. These team members have all worked very hard and shown great determination. We are very proud! you can read more of their stories plus their advice to future architects!
Help us celebrate their big accomplishment!
JASON TEAL, AIA
Jason joined the College Station team upon completing his master’s degree at Texas A&M University. He immediately set the goal of becoming a registered architect within 24 months of his hire date at BRW. There were many late nights, and it was challenging to maintain a good work-study-life balance, but Jason stuck with it. He completed the process in just 13 months. He credits part of his success to the experience he has gained working at BRW.
Jason’s advice to future architects?
Don’t wait. Take a quick break after graduation, but then get back at it while you are still in the habit of studying. Keep your momentum. Once you start testing, keep at it. Getting back into the routine can be difficult after taking a break, and if you fail a section, don’t take it personally. Just wait the 30 days, and take it again. Jason passed sections 1-5 on his first attempts. The final section proved to be a bit peskier. He failed to pass the first time around and experienced an equipment malfunction on his second try. Then, two days before his third attempt, his plan was preempted by a major life event—the birth of his first child. Jason finally passed that last section on Monday, February 24th. And while he’s still waiting on the paperwork, that didn’t stop him from celebrating with a nice glass of bourbon.
Congratulations Jason, on BOTH your new official titles—Architect and Dad!
ARTURO GONZALES, AIA
Arturo joined the BRW Dallas team in 2016 and embarked on his exam quest two years later with the aim of finishing by summer 2020. Arturo’s quick to say this wasn’t a hard and fast goal. Life isn’t a controlled environment, and a rigid goal setting can create undue pressure. That said, there’s no stopping Arturo when he sets his mind on something. It’s no surprise that he took all six sections in quick succession and finished ahead of schedule. He did have to retake some sections, but Arturo didn’t let that discourage him. He just kept ongoing.
Arturo’s advice to future architects?
Make time for it, know your learning style, and get started quickly after graduation – while you still know how to study. Arturo waited seven years before starting the process and admits his study skills were a little rusty. He points out that work experience can be helpful, but it can also hinder you. The exams test you on your knowledge of the NCARB material, NOT on the way your firm practices architecture. Practical experience is good, but it’s important to consider the academic material as well.
So how did Arturo celebrate after he passed his last exam? He went directly to BRW to clear his desk of all the testing materials, then went home and toasted his success with a cold cider. Cheers to you, Arturo!
JUSTIN DREYER, AIA
Justin joined the BRW Team in 2007 and is no stranger to balancing work and studies. He worked fulltime in the College Station office while working on his Master of Architecture. He took a study break after completing his degree in 2010 and admits that it was hard to reestablish a routine, so he set a goal and got back to the grind last spring. Justin took his first exam in March 2019 with a plan to finish the process within a year. Going into the first two exams, Justin worried that he hadn’t prepared enough. He passed both without any trouble—actually, he passed every exam on the first attempt.
Justin attributes some of his success to 13 years of on-the-job training at BRW. Familiarity with the practical side of architecture helped him make better use of his study time. Last fall, Justin received a little extra motivation. Nothing will light a fire under your To-Do list like finding out you’re going to be a father. The news that there would be a new addition to the family in June gave Justin an added push. He passed his last exam on March 4, making his goal of finishing within a year. Now he has plenty of time to start studying those parenting guides.
Congratulations Justin! And good luck in June!