A Day in the Life of an Architect

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A Day in the Life of an Architect

Describe your typical day.

My typical day starts off with a cup of coffee while looking at my calendar for what’s on the docket for the day. It helps set my mind for what’s ahead. The next thing I do is check my voicemail and inbox.

Usually I know in advance what’s coming up and I will have assignments and responsibilities set out with a particular project so I focus on those first. I try to minimize the panic by staying on top of my tasks and looking forward. I often call unplanned distractions that come with the day to day, the “whirlwind” effect. A to-do list helps organize my thoughts and priorities.

What are the biggest challenges and attractions of this job?

Challenge: It changes over time, but my biggest challenge right now is that I’ve only been in Bemidji for a year and I am still trying to get to know who is who. I’m learning who the contractors, consultants and supplies are. With every project I’m getting a better handle on it.

Advantage: It’s important to establish relationships within a project and I feel like there is a lot of relationship building in Bemidji. Everyone takes time to get to know each other and it goes a long way for a successful project and repeat clients.

Do you have a “signature style” when it comes to designing?

I don’t think I do… and it’s not a bad thing. I work collaboratively in a group and everyone influences the design of the project. The style of designing isn’t as unique as it used to be, although I have noted regional trends that say more about the area’s signature style than the architect’s signature style.

What types of skills are necessary for succeeding in your field?

Interpersonal skills are highly important. You need to be a good listener and understand what the client is asking. Sometimes the client doesn’t know exactly what they need or want and it’s important to be able to pull that out. Time management skills are very important as well. And of course, design skills and having an eye for aesthetics.

What is the most rewarding part of this career for you personally?

The satisfaction of seeing a well-designed project built. It’s a bit of leaving a legacy behind. It’s a tangible “I did that” or “I participated in that”. It’s a really good feeling.

Karvakko Engineering and RRA have officially merged into one firm--Karvakko. We’re more than just engineering.