IT WAS a typical story of topnotchers not expecting their notable performance in board exams. Well, one cannot blame this new lady architect to feel anxious about the posting of the results of the June 2019 Architects Licensure Examinations. For many years, the board exams for architecture has always been challenging and at times, unpredictable.
Davao-born Jennica Curato, who graduated from the University of San Carlos (USC), placed seventh in a board exam she expected to just get enough rating to pass and realize her dream of being a registered architect. But fate would have it differently for Nica, as she is fondly called, as she not only placed among the top 10 passers but also became part of 87 new Carolinian architects that brought honor to USC, which was the second top performing school in the examinations with close to 90 percent passing percentage.
Nica admitted getting paranoid while waiting for the results that when it finally came out, she felt a heavy load taken off her shoulders. And with the so-called icing on the cake, she is on an extra happy perch.
Apart from daily prayers and the constant support from family and loved ones, she credits her success to her university education and later, her apprenticeship.
“The most important thing I learned is the value of managing my time,” said Nica. “I only started to see its importance when I was in college. When you are faced with challenges and loaded with deadlines, you are forced to look for ways on how to be able to accomplish tasks and submit requirements on time. It was then that I learned how to organize my tasks and set priorities.”
This value was further honed during her internship at Zubu Design Associates, where her time management and multi-tasking capabilities were handy in dealing with the projects in the office. She believed that this was instrumental in preparing for the board exams and will help her become successful in her career as architect.
Nica moved to Cebu after her sister graduated in Davao. Her parents and her other sister had moved earlier so it was a reunion of sorts in Cebu as Nica took up architecture in USC. She is the first architect in the family and she knew architecture was for her even when she was very young.
“I have always been fond of drawing houses when I was a kid,” shared Nica, “and I honestly thought that we’d be drawing houses during our entire college life. Of course, architecture school taught me that it was more than just ‘drawing, designing houses.’”
To her, topping the board exams is more than just a laurel that is meant to merely rest on her head. She hopes that her achievement will open new opportunities that would help improve her skills and knowledge in architecture. Truly, learning never stops with the acquisition of the professional license.
Now that she is an architect, Nica is eager to promote her often misunderstood profession to the public through her well-designed buildings.
“If people see and get to experience the difference of a building or a space designed by an architect, then not only will they see the value of good design, but they would also be willing to invest in it,” she said. (S)