On February 20th Joshua Bender received the email he had been waiting to see all week. He received official notice that he passed the 7th and final exam in the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Architect Registration Exam (ARE). While M+H has 8 licensed architects, Bender is the first to earn his registration while employed at M+H.
“Art, especially sculpture, has always appealed to me,” Bender said. He appreciates the fact that when architecture is done well it can become a piece of art that is inhabitable and provides shelter for years to come. “A building can be visually striking, but it can also influence your emotions and mood while engaging all of your senses.”
“Josh has set a great example for the office on how to accomplish your goals and earn your license,” said Mark Hugeback, Principal of M+H Architects. “Once he set his mind to it, he was passing exams at a rapid pace,” Hugeback added.
When asked what advice he would give his younger self about architecture Josh said, “I would tell myself to stay hungry and always push myself and others to work outside our comfort zones.”
The licensing process technically began during his freshman year at University of Kansas; a degree from an NCARB certified school is a state requirement. He has been logging hours for the experience portion of his licensure (5,600 hours are required) since graduating and began studying for his first exam in the summer of 2013. “I wish I would have started taking exams earlier and taken less time between my first and third exams. I took over a year between passing them,” Bender said when reflecting on what he would have done differently.
While all 7 portions of the exam have their challenges, Josh found the most challenging to be the Building Design and Construction Systems portion. “It was a bit trickier since it covers a very broad range of topics and also includes three vignettes where you must design a ramp, stair and roof plan.”
When he received the email notifying his passing score he casually mentioned it to a co-worker who then announced it at a company meeting. He was presented with an embroidered pull over to commemorate the occasion as well as a new inter-office traveling T-square trophy to which he added his name. He’ll keep the trophy until the next employee receives their certification, which will likely be in the very near future! Congrats Josh!