Consistency is key: Board topnotcher shares tips

Consistency is key: Board topnotcher shares tips

STILL waters run deep,” as the proverb goes. This seems to be a clear reflection of the latest Visayan topnotcher in the January 2020 Architects Licensure Examination (ALE).

An architecture graduate from the University of San Carlos, Charimae Budiongan was a student who liked flying under the radar. Describing herself as a diligent student who did not want to fail in her courses, she just lets her performance and work ethic speak resoundingly when it comes to doing design plates and accomplishing other academic requirements. So, it was not a complete surprise when the newly minted architect from Bohol placed fifth in the recent board exams.

“My academic training built the foundation of my understanding of architecture. For me, this was important because architecture is a very broad course. Without the basic knowledge of the theories of architecture, I wouldn’t be able to grasp the deeper concepts and practical applications of those theories,” the 24-year-old new architect said. This explains her consistency in always being willing to learn and not vocally rant about the academic challenges which came her way. Such consistency, she explained, was a key quality that made her succeed in the board exam, coupled with a healthy mindset.

Apart from a two-year apprenticeship under an architect-mentor and enrolling in a review center for six months, she prepared for the exams by making sure there was a balance for study and relaxation. Moreover, she learned to analyze exam questions from past licensure examinations and sharpened her comprehension skills under time pressure. This was the “extra” that she considers as instrumental in landing her in the top 10.

With no intent of resting on her laurels, Charimae plans of working as an architect in her hometown after taking her oath as a professional this March. She looks forward to many opportunities there. Asked about what her dream project would be, she said that she would love to work on a “project that embosses art, functionality and sustainability.”

“I want to promote environmental conservation that is why I would like to specialize in sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture not only deals with ideal building materials and technologies but also uses architecture as an artistic way to promote awareness. Architecture can influence the behavior of its user, that is why I think it’s a great tool for promoting awareness.”

Board topnotchers like her are always asked about their so-called “words of wisdom” especially for those who will soon be taking licensure examinations on their way to becoming registered professionals. For her, pursuing one’s interests and setting greater goals more than just graduating college, passing the board exam or complying with a requirement is a must for everyone.

“Set a goal and be persistent in making your reality geared toward your goal. Just take one step at a time.”


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