Is it too late to pursue my dream now?

David Choi

Salary. Job title. Luxurious car. Glamorous house.  What would make you happier? What would make you live your life to the fullest?

As I am 4th year student in notable business school in Canada, I recently realized that the business school really seems to be breeding ground for self-serving, money grubbing, and soulless students who has pretentious “My major is better than your major, because I will earn more money after graduation” kind of attitude.

After spent 3 years in business school, I started internship as junior accountant at the firm placed 2nd biggest player in dental implant industry within Canada, sales go up to 40 million per month. Although monetary compensation for working as intern is satisfactory, but I learned during 1 year internship was how much working as accountant is tedious, monotonous, and retroactive. I could see nothing I can create something, i mean doing something productive whereas I learned how to punch meaningless numbers in Excel file faster than any others, how to records all the shitty bills and expenses from sales representatives, how to make a claim to the Fedex or UPS if any packages are not delivered to the dentist at the guaranteed time, and how to communicate with people from government, i.e. Canada Revenue Agency, or Canada Health Inspection agency. I could not feel any improvement for myself whereas company grows every month.

Having said that I feel regret that I was admitted to the business school and chose accounting as my major, i just trying to make a huge turn at this point where I am almost hitting age of 26 now. I love music so i have played piano for 10 years, i love painting so i learned painting from childhood, I love beautiful buildings and city so I took a trip to Asia and Europe only to take those pictures, and I love interacting with people so I learned Japnese, Chinese, and English.(first language is Korean)

Most people around me say that I am out of mind, because getting a well-paid job is almost guaranteed after graduation. However I have seen so many people who pursue their dream regardless of any obstacles, and I saw them looks way happier than those going after money. 


So i am thinking applying M.Arch in UBC, or applying bachelor program in UofT or Mcgill. I know being a registered architect is a long way with so many obstacles to go through, but I want to move a little step toward it from now. I know there is many architects out here.. What would be the good things to start with? My mentor, who is 60years old registered architect suggested me to start with drawing anything everyday, and taking courses about AutoCADD and Revit from community college so I can get familiar with those softwares, and taking some architecture history courses as electives that i can transfer credits after being admitted to UofT or any other schools. Considering that I am applying school next September, do you have any other suggestion that I can do before getting in school? 

Thank you for reading this long thread, any help or advice gratefully received. 

Oct 11, 15 8:27 pm

there should be some sort of online forum where young grads could exchange unwanted degrees, there are certainly plenty unfulfilled arch grads who would be happy to trade.

in your case, just be prepared that a job as an architect also involves lots of tedious and monotonous work. If you really care about the final product, you will push through and get it done, but keep that in mind. Study architecture because you love it, not because you hate accounting.

otherwise, your mentor gives some reasonable advice. start looking through architecture magazines and websites and get a sense what kinds of work different architects do and begin to get a sense what your interest is. it will help you to move forward more quickly in your new career if you can focus on the kind of practice that you really care about, what kind of buildings you love, what kind of office you want to start out in.

Oct 11, 15 9:18 pm

I’ve always felt the world was upside-down….we should be retired when we are 26 and start working at 65 when we have learned enough about the world to make wise career choices.

Any career can end up “tedious” if you let it. Tedium comes when you’ve done something long enough to “get-it”, then it’s up to you to move on to something you don’t get, then once you get-it again you move again (can be within a company or change company’s). In our business if you’re good enough you will eventually move beyond the tedious…think tedium is largely self-inflicted.

Oct 11, 15 9:46 pm

I would see if you could work part time in an office, or shadow your mentor around for a few days to see what the real experience is like.

Additionally, spend more time drawing than learning Revit.  Revit is a construction document generation tool and not a design tool that will be helpful in the early stages of studying architecture.  

Oct 12, 15 12:40 am
good details

BCIT does revit courses, see if you can hop into one over the summer.  Applications are fast approaching for M.Arch programs, not sure if you have enough time to apply.  You need a portfolio and everything.  Since Im assuming youre at ubc go check out some of their presentations at the end of this semester.  A quick trip to the lassare building should fill you in on the dates of their studio presentations.

Oct 14, 15 3:17 am

You you intern, or get your first job, on the accounting side of a large architectural firm and work your way into business development there while taking some courses on the side. No need to stay in the dental implant biz.

Oct 14, 15 9:32 am

Should be 'You can intern..' above obviously. Point being you should not throw your existing talents and education overboard when pursuing a new career, especially if those talents have a widespread application across all fields as yours does.

Oct 14, 15 9:49 am
Olaf Design Ninja_

money is completely overated. its really boring to be quite honest.

Oct 14, 15 9:15 pm

Honestly get an internship before you think you know what a career in architecture is. The very few jobs that actually hold up to the glamorous idea of what an architect is are reserved for trust funders who can work for free. Most places you'll be changing line thicknesses in CAD and laying out toilets to building code all day long every day. Your coworkers won't say anything to each other all day because everyone is busy desperately trying to meet ridiculous deadlines and you're employer won't value you at all, all this while making as much as the clerks at Vons. Go for it, you might make it big, you might be the best designer this century, but have your business degree as back up. Don't underestimate what it's like to be poor post-college. Especially when you've worked your ass off and watch distance grow between old time friends who can afford nicer areas to live and more expensive weekend activities. Money isn't everything but being broke sucks. 

Oct 15, 15 2:03 am

Architecture field is so vast, knowledge gained in schooling is very different then practical things. As of I know about this field, you always work practically while your schooling too. So initially you just need a hold back, if you get it in your starting days then definitely it become beneficial for you. The more creativity you show in your work ,the more precise and perfect you will be. 

Oct 15, 15 7:43 am

Its nice to want to pursue dreams - but is it practical - for most of us it isn't 

financial responsibility should always come first - pursuing a dream at the expense of making ends meet and saving just doesn't make sense. Not being  able to pay your bills is a huge ball and chain on a "dream" pursuit

Oct 15, 15 12:01 pm

Getting out of school with a net worth of $00.00 is not so bad, you can earn a few dollars and kick around Europe for a few months with your girlfriend before deciding what to do. Getting out of school with a negative $250,000 net worth is a whole 'nother ball game. You are, essentially, locked in to making a house payment for thirty years - only you have no house.  

Oct 15, 15 12:14 pm
Sharky McPeterson

Where is Balkins? His opinion on this is greatly needed.

Oct 15, 15 1:22 pm

Architecture is a stupid move unless your rich jewish uncle is one (an architect), and he has a fair number reputable clients. Other than that your just another cog in the global machine. Enjoy a life stuck behind a computer screen to hopefully make others rich. 

Oct 15, 15 1:27 pm
What? A business school kid with a soul? Did you fail the soul removal class?

All work is tedious. I like to think that architecture is a bunch of small tedious tasks that lead to something really cool.

Why not use your money skills to do great socially aware development w great design? Team up w some talented archis??
Oct 17, 15 7:51 am

Ignore everything, this is the only thing that matters.

Always chase your dreams, if it doesnt work out, you may end up broke however at least you will die happy. The last thing you want in your life is to live a life full of regrets and what ifs. To me, if I tried my best and I failed, I am HAPPY, because I gave it my all. Life is short, you and I can be dead when tomorrow comes. Personally, I would rather live my life (whether it be broke) happy, chasing my dreams doing what I want and love to do. Don't let anyone or anything stop you!

*** just one exception. If you have a kids, wife, and a family to feed... and chasing your dreams may make them homeless...then it is not a good idea.

Feb 18, 16 5:10 pm

how about marrying someone who is an architect and live vicariously?  your spouse would be happy practicing architecture without worrying much about financial future..  my wife used to enjoy watching me design things.. now she's saying that I should get out of it for better pay and low stress... :(

Feb 19, 16 6:00 pm

  You got plenty of time.  I'm 35 with a bachelor's, not working in this industry, plan to go do my master's in 2 to 3 years. ;)  They say most architect's don't get established until they're 50.

My advice is find a source of income, preferably in your current field, start a side business or something so you don't feel guilty while studying architecture or if it doesn't work out.  Atleast you won't have to worry about money or being broke.

Feb 19, 16 11:15 pm

It would be great if you could get an advise from a local architect (a friend of a friend maybe?).  This forum will not be able to help you.

Feb 21, 16 9:45 am

This forum is notoriously unhelpful for an honest question like yours. That being said, I would stick with money. Money sounds boring because you can make it right now but you’ll sure miss it if you get into architecture.

Oct 31, 19 2:50 am

Short answer it's never too late. I was 27 when I started architecture. Got a job immediately after graduation. Very happy with the field in general, alot of diversity in the type of work I do. Feel free to send me a PM, I live in Toronto and we can chat if you want some advice. 

Nov 3, 19 1:20 pm
Non Sequitur

Is it too late tho if you’re answering a 4year old question? Also, Toronto sucks.


Four years later and if he decides to pursue Arch id still say its not too late. Toronto is aight, we got Drake, and the Raptors.

Non Sequitur

Drake is meh and raptors are so last season.


Can people TRY to look at the date of the last post before responding. If it was the original poster, that's one thing but frankly if you are not, lets try to get with the netiquette habit of not replying to threads that have not been posted to over 12 months. If you are the original poster, that's fine. If not, then, in general, it is not good internet behavior to resurrect threads that are several months old especially when they are over 12 months old. Leonizer, I understand that you didn't resurrect it but Feedlydee did. It is best not to use it as an excuse to post a response when the other person did not, either. 

No one else here have any further legitimate response to the original poster and that person is no longer using this forum for whatever reason. A lot of people come to the forum to ask questions and if they get responses that answers or such that they simply are not looking for then yeah... they leave.

Here's a simple answer: If you are asking yourself... is it too late to pursue my dream now" then the answer is yes. Why? It is because you are not committed. If you are not committed, then it really doesn't matter when. Here's the simple answer, unless you are dead, it is NEVER too late if you are committed to achieving unless you die but then life sucks because you never know with absolute certainty that you live past today. All you can do is have a little faith that you'll be alive to complete the pursuit of your dream. If you are already thinking that it is too late or possibly too late then it is too late FOR YOU because you don't have the drive to do it.

It's not too late for me to get licensed. I may have to change navigation or course when opportunities arises to seize that opportunity but it is never truly too late as long as I have the drive to pursue the dream and don't die in the process. Once I'm dead, it's too late for this life. Who knows about the next life or the next one after. No one really knows.

Lets quit the nonsense. 

Nov 3, 19 4:32 pm

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