Four Newly-Licensed Women in the Studio

Four Newly-Licensed Women in the Studio

Mikki Asada, Emily Jones, Prairna Gupta Garg, and Nadia Kulczycky share a little about the process and what it feels like to finally reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

Q: Why did you decide to get licensed?

Emily: I was actually interested in the content! You don't learn any of this in school, so I wanted to learn why the system is the way it is. I also wanted to have the credential because I know it helps when working with contractors and clients. Mikki also really motivated me. I saw her going through the process and wanted to join in.

Mikki: For me, it’s a diversity issue. I was motivated because it’s important to get women and specifically women of different backgrounds to the table, and licensing helps us get there. Having that “AIA” after your name validates your professional knowledge. For me, licensure was a capstone for my education.

Prairna: As a young professional, I noticed that licensure equated to professional credibility in our industry and hence, I went for it. My mentor, Lilian, also advised me and said you should get it done earlier rather than later because it starts to open doors that you wouldn’t even think of later on.

Nadia: Of course there are all of the professional reasons why I decided to do it — a deeper knowledge about the industry, the ability to stamp drawings — but really I knew it make my mother proud.

Q: What is the weirdest thing you learned?

Mikki: The coolest thing I learned about was the California Coastal Commission. It opened my eyes. The coastline could have been all private beaches. We get cynical about the policies and bureaucracy we have to deal with as architects, but to go through licensure and understand what their original motivation was is actually helpful.

Nadia: I did flashcards through Kaplan and “Gargoyle” was one of them.

Q: Do you have any Studying Tips?

– Team up! Jump on the bandwagon and support each other. It helps to commiserate.
– Don’t think about it, just do it
Work it into your schedule in a way that is realistic. Study at lunch.
– Keep a detailed calendar of your study hours.
– Discipline, motivation, and time management. You really have to discipline yourself to get to studying despite all of the distractions in life (both work and personal).
– Don’t give yourself too much time to study. Sprints help. Take a break, do a sprint.