The Youngest Architect in the Entire State of Texas...
...is our very own Megan Tegethoff, AIA, LEED AP! Whoever said youth is wasted on the young obviously hasn’t met Megan. Kirksey is proud to announce that our very own Megan Tegethoff, AIA, earned those three meaningful letters behind her name at the ripe old age of 24 – currently garnering her a spot as the youngest licensed architect in the entire state of Texas.
After a few inquiries and email exchanges, AIA Houston ran a state-wide report to verify who holds that title.
“After running a state-wide membership query report, we believe Megan is the youngest AIA member and licensed architect in Texas,” said Rusty Bienvenue, Executive Director at AIA Houston.
Megan started as an intern here at Kirksey in 2013 while studying at University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture. After many late nights of hitting the books rather than hanging with friends, Megan graduated as salutatorian of her architecture class in May of 2014, immediately took her first exam that following August and passed her last exam in May of 2015. She finished her remaining IDP hours in July.
“By working at Kirksey the summer after fourth year and all during my fifth year of architecture school, I acquired the minimum hours needed to begin testing. After graduation, I laid out a game plan for the seven exams. I always planned on testing as soon as possible because after five years of architecture school, I was already used to having little freedom, and I thought continuing in that mindset would help me get through the exams quicker!” said Megan. As architects everywhere know, the AREs are no cake walk.
“There is no easy way around these exams,” Megan said. “It just depends on if you want to endure it all at once and get done fast or spread it out and contain more of your sanity along the way.” Her first couple of attempts weren’t successful. So, she readjusted her study process and gathered advice from fellow coworkers.
“For the next seven months, I took one exam every four Fridays and ended up passing seven in a row,” Megan said. “I would schedule ‘social time’ and plan ahead for it so my time was used efficiently. I studied about two hours every morning before work each day, another two hours each evening, and about four hours a day on the weekends. Having a rigorous study schedule can definitely take a toll on you, and I was very fortunate to have an extremely supportive family that encouraged me in the tough goals I set for myself,” Megan said.
Understanding what a difficult and lengthy task it can be for architects to pass all seven exams, Kirksey is committed to mentoring young designers to help them achieve licensure. “I’m extremely fortunate to work for a firm so committed to helping young employees advance in their career,” Megan said.
“Coworkers on my team continue to work closely with me to show me methods of good practice, introduce me to all aspects of the work field and present me with plenty of opportunities to grow. I could not have ended up at a better firm right after college. I love the work hard / play hard atmosphere. This is a spectacular environment for young architects to thrive!”
And thrive she has. Megan gained extensive knowledge and experience on Kirksey’s commercial team with opportunities to work on office buildings and hotels.
“Kirksey is very proud to have Megan as a part of our team. This accomplishment not only recognizes her determined work ethic, but also serves as a testament to her ambition for a long and successful career,” said Scott Wilkinson, AIA, Executive Vice President and Commercial Team Leader at Kirksey.
In addition to covering the costs of study materials, passed exams and licensing fees, Kirksey places great value on employees maintaining a work/life balance, including carving out study time and paid time off for exam leave. Within the past year, Kirksey is proud to have 10 staff attain architectural licensure.
So… what will Megan be doing now that her exams are behind her?
“I plan to do absolutely nothing for a few months!” she said. “I’m looking forward to learning what this crazy thing called ‘leisure time’ is all about, and I look forward to spending more time with my family and friends. I’m sure I will eventually get my mind set on some other fun challenge but for now I am enjoying working out again, going to the movies, crocheting, and taking trips with my family!”
Congratulations, Megan! We are very proud of you, and this is an accomplishment that is well deserved!