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Emerging Leaders

06.26.13 / Jennifer Plume

A group of ARCers and I recently attended ‘Emerging Leaders’, an event hosted by the Women in Design / Women Principals Group that was geared towards women, like me, who are up and coming design professionals. We were joined by an impressive group of women panelists from Boston area architecture firms. The event kicked off with a Q&A style session in which the panelists shared challenges, perks, and lessons learned on their path toward leadership.

Small group discussions led by our panelists touched on the following topics:

Communication
Communication skills are critical whether you are at the beginning of your career discussing professional goals with a supervisor or an industry leader delineating roles and defining expectations for others.

Mentorship
The power of surrounding yourself with those that inspire and educate you can never be overestimated.

Community
The ties you maintain both inside and outside of architectural circles are important for continued career growth.

Advocacy
Having someone that advocates for you can give you a big leg up in this profession, but only if you can also be an advocate for yourself.

In recent months, a group of a similar demographic has formed at ARC. The goal of this ‘Emerging Professionals’ group is to focus on professional development needs particular to the next generation of Architects. At our bi-weekly meetings we engage in design conversations, practice presentation skills, discuss ways in which we can build our networking skills, and seek resources that further our knowledge and education of the profession. For us, we have found most of the resources we seek are already here among us in our own ARC colleagues and management. The Emerging Professionals group has provided us with a platform to invite leaders within our company to pass along their expertise as well as a place for us to share our own special skill sets with each other.

It is clear from talking with both the Women in Design panelists and leaders at ARC that many design professionals in our industry are committed to a life-long learning process. Now, more than ever, as ideas and technology evolve at an ever increasing rate, I am convinced of the necessity and vitality of these groups and the pool of shared experience they create among us.

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