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When considering which architecture firms to apply to, look for ones that go above and beyond with innovative projects, international learning opportunities, and overall support of aspiring architects on the road to licensure. Some shining examples are the 2015-2018 IDP Outstanding Firm Award Winners. Learn how these champions of licensure set a high bar when it comes to helping aspiring architects succeed.

HBG, which has offices in Memphis, TN, and San Diego, creates many opportunities for aspiring architects to launch their career. The firm focuses on “inventing, empowering, and preparing the next generation for a future of limitless possibilities in the profession,” according to Principal and Practice Leader Rick Gardner, AIA, Principal and Practice Leader.

The firm’s innovative EDGE Program (Envision Development and Goals Experience) builds teamwork and leadership skills by evaluating personality types to build effective relationships and leverage each person’s strengths. The program also helps participants set goals and take responsibility for their professional development through the Emerging Professionals Studio (EPStudio). The peer-led studio immerses aspiring architects in professional training, providing opportunities for both mentorship and leadership throughout the experience. Plus, the firm’s GOH Travel Scholarship provides an international research experience to broaden an aspiring architect’s knowledge and demonstrate the global impact of architecture.

To help alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with licensure, HBG pays for NCARB Records, reimburses the cost of all passed ARE divisions, and even pays for membership to professional organizations. The firm also provides free study materials and maintains a library of ARE prep materials.

Gardner encourages aspiring architects to “visualize your plan, work with mentors and peers to remove obstacles, and follow through on the commitment to yourself. Until you cross that threshold of licensure, you are limiting your options. What we do matters to the human experience and has an effect on future generations. It’s a wonderful thing to be an architect, and we should all want to reach the highest level possible in our professional accreditation. You’ll be glad you did.”