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    Turning Architects into Entrepreneurs

    By thebacboston
    Jun 12, '20 9:43 AM EST

    The unique education model at the BAC offers students real life experience not just after they graduate but while they're still in the classroom. One course in particular that equips students for their lifelong careers is Practice Management, a NAAB required course designed to help students become successful as principals in the future. The course aims to give students an idea about how complex running an architectural business can be. Students learn that they must obtain business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills in addition to the technical competency they must have.

    Isra Banks, BAC faculty member, shares, "I usually take this course as an opportunity to empower students as employees and as future leaders. However, over the years, I found that some students' career progress is hampered by the fear of the profession's future. I usually hear things like, we're not paid enough as designers or we're never going to make enough money as architects. I see surprised faces when I ask, "As a future principal, how will you prepare for the next recession?" I don't get any answers to that question!"

    To better prepare students for the future, Banks decided to tweak her goal for the new semester. "I wanted to provide students with the confidence required to start a business in the future or claim their rightful position in the firm they decide to stay at without being hindered by self-doubt. I also wanted to help them believe that they have the tools to survive the next recession. I tried to convince them that they, as designers, have skills that will enable them to do things other than designing buildings with the training they're gaining at the BAC."

    The assignment was simple: create a business plan. Then, Banks provided each group of students with an envelope that contained the amount of their seed fund. From there each group had to utilize their plan for how they would produce the product or service, market it, and ultimately sell it.

    "I was curious about the outcomes of this experiment! Shall my students provide design services like interior decor or home staging? Are they going to sell cookies and donuts? Are they going to be able to make an actual profit? Are they even going to take this exercise seriously or buy coffee with their $5 seed fund?" Banks shared.

    After a semester's work, each group came up with legitimate business plans and learned what it takes to execute a successful service or product. "To my astonishment, students were enthusiastic about the project; they have all designed and executed viable products or services; they came up with marketing plans and made actual sales and profit," Banks stated.

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    • 1 Comment

    • lcanet

      Love the key-chains! yes many cool things can be done with the laser cutter - 

      Aug 10, 20 11:41 am  · 

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The #BACbuzz blog will help to inform, educate, and share relevant and noteworthy architectural and design news happening within the Boston Architectural College and around the Boston community.

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