Architects’ Career Paths Post-Graduation

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Webinar On-Demand
Sponsored by Benjamin Moore & Co., Kingspan Insulated Panels, The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York, The Steel Institute of New York, Vectorworks Inc., Vitro Architectural Glass and The Wood Institute
Presented by Kimberly Dowdell AIA, NOMAC, Jeff Goldstein, FAIA, Patti Rhee, FAIA

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the unique career paths taken by three successful US architects.
  2. Explain how early decisions made by these architects helped them grow and thrive early in their careers.
  3. Discuss the opportunities – and obstacles – that students can face in their first jobs.
  4. Describe some of the key qualities that successful architecture firms look for in new hires.


1 AIA LU/Elective
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia

Getting that first job after graduating from architecture school can be a heady and exciting experience. But using that job as the first step in a successful career can take a variety of skills that you may not have been taught in school. This unique webinar is specifically designed for current architecture students and recent grads who are preparing to enter the workplace. It will walk through the unique career paths taken by three distinguished US architects and will the explore how the lessons these professionals have learned can help young architects establish and navigate their own paths to rewarding, impactful careers.

Architects Career Paths


Kimberly Dowdell AIA, NOMAC collaborates with other members of the leadership team in HOK’s Chicago studio on strategic business development and marketing initiatives. In addition to cultivating and maintaining relationships with clients and partners, she is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events and a mentor to HOK’s emerging leaders. She is a co-chair of HOK’s Diversity Advisory Council.

In 2021, Kimberly joined the board of directors of the Architects Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She also joined the board of the Chicago Area Central Committee (CCAC), which works to shape the city’s growth, equity and quality of place. She is a board member of Ingenuity Chicago, which increases arts education access, equity and quality.

Kimberly is the past president (2019-2020) of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects Council (NOMAC), which is the organization’s highest level of recognition. She was a 2020 AIA Young Architects Award recipient and was recognized for her activism efforts by Architectural Record’s 2020 Women in Architecture Awards program.


Jeff Goldstein FAIA is a Principal and cofounding partner at DIGSAU, a 50-person studio practicing contemporary architecture, urbanism and environmental design. DIGSAU’s philosophy of practice is guided by a commitment to design excellence, social and environmental sustainability, and cultural resonance. Since 2007, the firm has built a reputation for socially engaged, innovative work that connects people to place, time, and each other.

The firm has been recognized more than sixty National, Regional, State, and Local Design Awards from the American Institute of Architects. DIGSAU was named one of North America’s “Emerging Voices” by the Architectural League of New York and the AIA Pennsylvania Chapter honored DIGSAU as the fifth recipient of the prestigious Firm Award, granted annually to a selected Pennsylvania firm whose efforts have consistently produced distinguished architecture for a period of at least 10 years. Their work has been exhibited at Temple University, Delaware College of Art and Design, and the Broad Museum and they have won multiple international design competitions. Projects have been published in trade and popular media outlets including Architectural Record, Architect, The Architect’s Newspaper, Dwell, CNN, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times.


Patricia Rhee FAIA is an AIA Fellow and Partner at Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects where she has practiced for over two decades. She has engaged in both nationally acclaimed and locally admired projects as Partner in Charge and Lead Designer - the most notable ones include The Culver Steps, John M. Roll United States Courthouse and The Press Adaptive Re-Use Campus. Her project experience ranges from civic to institutional and creative developments of all scales and with multiple delivery methods, including design-build.

Patricia is a Founding Co-Chair of the AIA Los Angeles Women in Architecture committee, has lectured internationally and serves as a juror and peer reviewer for the following institutions: GSA, OBO, AIA, DBIA and various universities across the nation. She is currently serving as the Kea Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland. In 2015, her studio received the national AIA Firm Award, one of the industry’s highest honors. Patricia received her Master's degree in Architecture from Harvard's Graduate School of Design and her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.


Sponsored by

BenMoore Kingspan OMINY
SINY"/ Vectorworks Vitro"/

Supporting Partners

EAC Kansas City AIA StLouis
NOMA Young Architects LeaderDev
Originally published in March 2022