Road to Registration: A Candid Q+A with Sandra Mustieles

October 12, 2023

In the realm of architecture, the road to registration is an exceptional milestone pursued through years of dedication, rigorous education, and an unwavering passion for the craft. Today, we shine a spotlight on our very own Sandra Mustieles, Associate and Designer – whose hardworking journey has led her through this achievement.

Join us for a short Q+A with Sandra as we discuss what it took to achieve her architectural license!

Congratulations! This isn’t a short process, can you share a little bit about your journey to this milestone?

After completing graduate school, I devoted a few months to work before embarking on my exam preparations in late 2019. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced me to pause my journey towards the ARE certification. Eventually, I managed to resume my test-taking efforts and successfully passed my first exam by the end of 2020.

Given my educational background primarily obtained abroad, I encountered challenges adapting to the exam format. Mastering it required extensive practice, and I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of study resources. Ultimately, the key to success lies in diligent exam scheduling and unwavering commitment to one’s study plan, regardless of the obstacles encountered.

What were some of the challenges you faced during the process, and how did you overcome them?

The hardest challenge I confronted was my fear of failure. It’s tough to fail an exam after investing countless hours in preparation, so it’s crucial to find a way to regather your composure, retreat to a peaceful mental space, and allocate a day or two to reset and recharge your batteries to keep going. Over time, you come to realize that failure is not a reflection of your worth; it’s merely an integral part of the learning process.

The most valuable piece of advice I can offer to anyone is to surround oneself with individuals who genuinely root for your success, and trust yourself!

Becoming a registered architect is a meticulous process… how do you believe this achievement has shaped your approach to the world of architecture?

It has influenced the way I perceive our profession more than just the world of architecture itself. I now have a newfound respect for the immense dedication demanded in the path to becoming an architect. It requires a substantial investment of time, patience, discipline, and a continuous process of learning and self-improvement. I must emphasize my genuine amazement and inspiration, particularly by the remarkable female architects who not only excel in this profession but also wear other hats!

Now as a registered architect, what are your aspirations for professional growth and development?

I’m enjoying the break from exams, yet I’m looking forward to fresh challenges on the horizon. I’m committed to learning and soaking up wisdom from my colleagues and mentors, with the aim of evolving into more multifaceted roles within our profession and ultimately honing my skills as an architect. Moreover, I aspire to serve as inspiration or motivation for those who are on their own licensing journey.

How do you plan to stay engaged with the ever-evolving trends and technologies within the field?

I think it’s important to always stay curious, whether achieved through reading books, attending conferences, or engaging in conversations with fellow professionals. As architects, our job is to never stop learning!

Interview With: Sandra Mustieles, Associate and Designer

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