500 Chicon: Mentorship Match-Up

Career Building Committee members worked tirelessly to match mentors and EPs during their visit to 500 Chicon. – photo by Elizabeth Hackler 

The Career Building Committee has announced the much-anticipated Texas Architects Mentorship Program Class of 2014. This announcement comes after an extensive, algorithm-based process focused on matching Emerging Professionals (EPs) with like-minded members of the College of Fellows to form mentorship families.

The mentorship family members will meet throughout the year to learn from one another; they will also share their experiences during a special session at our 75th Annual Convention and Design Expo in Houston this November.

The Brains

The creator of the algorithm-driven system was TxA’s own Jason John Paul Haskins, Assoc. AIA. Haskins received his Masters of Architecture from The University of Texas at Austin and currently works as a data asset and media librarian manager at Alchemy Systems. Skills acquired in his new field have come in very handy for his role on the Career Building Committee.

The Process

To pair EPs with their mentors, the committee used a three-pronged matching process: a participant survey, a graphic-generating script, and physical matching.

Fellows and EPs from across the state completed a questionnaire that gathered quantitative and qualitative data for each participant. Through a series of scripts and sophisticated algorithms, the raw data was transformed into colorful graphics unique to each participant. 

The script-generated graphics were based on radial and quadrant grids, which were used to determine areas of interests as well as level. – photo by Elizabeth Hackler 

The Career Building Committee met at 500 Chicon in February for an all-day event to build this year’s mentorship families. During the meeting, the script-generated graphics were compared — and even physically laid on top of each other — to look for overlap in mentor/EP interest areas.

Mentorship families were built by pairing Fellows and EPs with similar interests and areas they wish to explore. – photo by Elizabeth Hackler 

The future

Career Building Chair Daniel P. Rigg, AIA, commented that the committee is looking forward to developing additional programs to target other groups within the profession, such as women in architecture or mid-career architects.

To learn more about the Career Building Committee’s Mentorship program, check out the committee’s page.

500 Chicon Street is the Austin headquarters of the Texas Society of Architects. “500 Chicon” is a column on the Texas Architects blog that highlights the ongoing collaboration between Texas Architects staff, our members, and other contributing partners. These posts will spotlight individuals who come through our doors, events and happenings at the office, and staff activities out in the field.