#MentorMonday: Teri Watson
Welcome to #MentorMonday! Mondays are dedicated to celebrating Black LICENSED Architects, Designers, and individuals in the profession of Architecture!
The questions asked to these individuals are to allow us into their lives and to be used as an inspiration. I hope you all enjoy this series.
Name: Teri Watson
Hometown: Houston, Texas
What/who sparked your interest in Architecture and when?
When I was in the 7th grade my history teacher told me I would be an Architect. Having that in the back of my head (and knowing I loved to draw), Architecture was one of the programs I chose when applying for college. Although it was my third program choice, I was placed in the Architecture program my freshman year. I didn’t know much about it but going into my sophomore year I was intrigued and fully invested in Architecture program.
What does it mean to be a black architect/ urban designer to you? Do you feel that you have more responsibility?
What are some obstacles you’ve experienced or currently experiencing as a black architect/ urban designer?
Should we ignore race in this profession?
If you could give advice to a black student in Architecture /Urban Planning school right now, what would it be?
Describe a moment you were at your lowest on your pursuit to licensure and how did you overcome it?
My lowest moment in my licensure journey was the beginning. I began testing when the new ARE 5.0 exam was released and it was very hard to figure out how to pass. Unfortunately, school doesn’t prepare you for the ARE exam so you have to be patient as you teach yourself the extensive content of what you will be tested on. After failing, I started to self evaluate, join forums, study harder and push myself past my comfort zone. Most importantly, I began to look at my path to licensure strictly as a learning experience to ensure I did not put constant pressure on myself for a “test”. Once I accomplished a realistic study schedule, figured out study techniques and kept a positive mindset towards the exams, I began passing. Understanding you are on your own path to licensure and not anyone else’s is the best way to overcome the ARE exam and focus on your path towards getting licensed.
How important is representation?
I believe representation is very important. I’m always shocked at people’s reaction when they hear I have a degree in Architecture and working in the field. People don’t realize that there are black professionals in this career which in return affects us as a whole. I think platforms like this one helps create a positive representation for us in this career.