ARCHCareersGuide.com very much appreciates an additional guest essay from Ms. Kayla Allen.  As you will read, she began her path to become an architect and is now a real estate broker in Chicago.  However, she outlines her appreciation for her architectural education and skills she has learned and applies to her career in real estate.  If you are interested in careers beyond architecture, visit our publication, Careers in Architecture and Beyond.


Growing up in the Chicago, I have always been fascinated with the architecture of the modern skyscrapers that defines our unique skyline to the historical buildings and monuments with cultural significance. I love art and anything that involves creativity. Completing a series of engineering courses in high school exposed me to an essential part of creation—functionality. While participating in the ACE Mentor Program of Chicago I gained hands-on experience with the fields on architecture, construction, and engineering, sparking my initial interest in becoming an architect.

ACE 2017 Summer Design Build Program – National Public Housing Museum “Informational Kiosk”

Additionally, I completed several summer internships with Walsh Construction where I learned about construction management. The exposure to the fields of architecture, construction, and engineering influenced my life in ways that are immeasurable.

Walsh Construction Summer Internship  2016 – Eleanor Boathouse at Park 571 Chicago, IL

Earning my degree, a B.S. in Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my lifetime.

Fall 2017 Studio Project – Interpretive Center at the Arboretum

…although I decided not to pursue a career as an architect, I knew for certain that my career path would be connected to architecture ….

After graduating, although I decided not to pursue a career as an architect, I knew for certain that my career path would be connected to architecture in some way. I became interested in pursuing a career in real estate, becoming a licensed Real Estate Broker in 2021.  Real Estate has allowed me to tap into my entrepreneurial spirit. Moreover, my foundation in architecture has enhanced my career and the value that I am able to provide to my clients, while also cultivating a unique set of skills that have been a guiding force in real estate and life in general:

Self-Discipline & Organization

As a student and beyond, self-discipline is imperative. Being a student in architecture introduced me to the importance of time management, being conscious of impending deadlines and following a timeline to complete tasks. Self-determination, strong will-power and consistent, methodical effort is crucial to success and achieving the best possible outcome.

Technical Skills

Though design is at the forefront of architecture, technical skills are the backbone. An education in architecture teaches skills including but not limited to sketching, math, technical drawing, utilizing various design software and technologies, and proper ways for measurement. These skills serve as tools that can be used for a variety of functional applications in daily life.

Eye for Aesthetics

A foundation in architecture has given me a keen eye for aesthetics, as it is what drives design. Furthermore, designing often leads to the development of an artistic or stylistic approach to creativity that is personal and has ultimately influenced my way of branding and marketing myself as a professional.

Detail Oriented

Details are an essential element of architecture. With the understanding of the concept of a part to a whole, I am conscious of the details that make up everything and can realize as well as convey how those details constitute the formation of the big picture.

Continuity, Flow, and Progression

A project in architecture is something that is not created overnight, but a result of progress overtime. Consisting of a multitude of layers with elements that build upon each other, these layers are ultimately combined in a way that flows and produces a unified creation. The process of development learned from architecture has applied to virtually any project that I embark on, bringing every component together to fulfill a specific purpose.


Communication is key in daily life.  Architecture taught me the ability to convey ideas not only through drawings but also by presenting those ideas for others to understand. This is especially important to carry through life because the ability to present thoughts, ideas, and a body of work verbally as well as visually with ease and clarity is essential. With Real Estate, there is constant communication between sellers, buyers, other agents, and entities that make up the profession. It is a necessity to work together as a team and be skilled at negotiation to close a deal.

…obtaining a degree in architecture has provided me with knowledge that is not limited to just architecture, but valuable for my life.

Reflecting on my career and life path thus far, I realize how obtaining a degree in architecture has provided me with knowledge that is not limited to just architecture, but valuable for my life. I have been equipped with a unique skill set that I carry with me and apply to any endeavor that I decide to pursue, which is ultimately priceless.

Kayla Allen – Real Estate Broker Chicago, IL



Posted in ,

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.