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That Back-to-School Feeling

verbeke photoWow, I miss school. The prospect of a fresh semester, new and sometimes slightly crazy projects, fresh supplies, and reconnecting with fellow classmates.  What an opportunity each new year presented, a reset, a retry – though I do wonder if I appreciated it as much at the time as I do now looking back on it. At the same time, I’m so glad I’ve finished that stage! The daunting examinations are behind me, I’ve worked hard and I’ve truly earned my “AIA.” 

I’m sure that I’m not alone in my thinking. Thankfully, AIA is not just an earned title to post at the end of your email signature. It’s actually an invitation and an opportunity to continue learning about our profession, sharpening our skills and pursuing our interests. AIA Potomac Valley offers many opportunities to earn those required CEUs, get more involved in shaping our profession politically, satisfy your curiosity about interesting new buildings with behind-the-scenes tours, revisit architecture school as a portfolio reviewer or mentor, or just to meet some like-minded people in the design industry at one of our quarterly Firm Tours. AIAPV’s programs complement those offered by other area chapters so that we in the metropolitan DC area are very fortunate to have a well-rounded set of opportunities. We collaborate with others for special events like DesignDC, coming up in October and, this year we are especially fortunate to have the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit taking place in our own backyard next week.

AIA National’s Knowledge Communities (https://network.aia.org/) are also a great way to expand your world and crowdsource the vast resources of our 88,000-member strong organization without leaving your desk.  There are forums for varying interests, from small firm practice to building performance, that may answer some question you have, or simply make you think of something that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

I encourage you to look at the AIAPV calendar, read these newsletters and select an event to attend. Just showing up is the first step to getting involved. There are plenty of opportunities to gain a fresh perspective, learn about a new product, connect with colleagues or simply step away from your own projects for a moment.  Let’s get in the back-to-school spirit and make a commitment to get out there, meet new people and arrive back to the office refreshed, with a new rigor and perspective to tackle the day-to-day.  Hope to see you soon at an upcoming event! 

Jennifer Verbeke, AIA
2017-2018 Board Member

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