The AIA North Central States Region recently recognized BWBR with its 2019-2020 Emerging Professional Friendly Firm Award for the firm’s work to support and mentor emerging professionals in the architectural profession.
One of only 12 firms in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota to be recognized, BWBR has had a history of supporting individuals seeking licensure and a career in architecture. Efforts have ranged from bonuses for passing the Architectural Registration Examinations (AREs, a multi-division exam administered over two years for graduates to become licensed architects); to in-house Landmark Learning Sessions required for newly-hired graduates with less than five years of experience; to both professional and social mentors that help emerging professionals adapt to life after college.
Other efforts include student intern integration with project teams to provide meaningful professional experience; gender equity training; and wellbeing support that focuses on financial as well as physical and mental health to help emerging professionals find balance in their professional and home life.
“We understand that we’re a better design firm when those who are just starting their careers feel encouraged and supported,” said Peter G. Smith, FAIA, president and CEO. “When emerging professionals grow into well-rounded designers, we benefit from their diversity and longevity in the profession, organizations benefit from their ideas that improve performance, and communities benefit from designs that transform lives.”
The AIA North Central States Region presents the Emerging Professional Friendly Firm Award to recognize firms that demonstrate the ways in which they excel in providing fair compensation and benefits to emerging professionals; supporting architectural licensure and investment in professional development; actively creating opportunities for emerging professionals to grow; and demonstrating commitment and innovation to train and mentor emerging professionals.