If you were to sit down and have a prolonged conversation with Robert Ivy, you’d likely come away from that conversation believing in the importance of architecture in our daily lives. Robert Ivy is the President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and he has been a loud voice pushing for the importance of the work that they are doing. Ivy knows as well as anyone that breaking into a professional field can be almost impossible and that sometimes the simplest paths are the hardest ones. That is why Robert Ivy has become an advocate for the role that professional societies play in getting educated workers into the fields that they have spent years becoming professionals in. Let’s take a look at the role that the AIA can play in the careers of burgeoning architects.
The first thing that you need to know is that a professional society, or institution, is not the same as an internship or a classroom experience. Professional societies take professional-ready workers and they put them into situations that will increase their likelihood of a prolonged career while also improving their chances of succeeding in said career. In fact, many people are looking at professional societies as a logical stepping stone in between education and a full-time career. Visit the website Architectural Record to learn more about Robert Ivy.
At a professional society like the American Institute of Architects, the first benefit that members will derive is that they are constantly surrounded by professionals working in their chosen field. Ask any career professional what is important and they’ll give you two answers: how good you are at your job and who you know. Your education will prepare your talent for your career but the networking that a professional society can offer will give you the final pieces that you need in order to capitalize on your hard work.
Additionally, professional societies give their organizing members a chance to reap important benefits later on in their career. Robert Ivy points out that architectures are relatively small in number and that means that they can’t stand up to all of the expensive political lobbying done by other special interests. What they can do, Ivy points out, is organize around a specific message so that they can make sure that their words are heard by the right people and in the way that they want those words perceived. Ivy believes that institutes like the AIA give power to future professionals.