We are excited to announce Ellen Hailey is officially a licensed architect. She has passed all seven of the Architectural Registration Exams (ARE), logged the required Intern Development Program (IDP) hours, and can now formally call herself an architect.
A New Orleans native, Ellen graduated from Tulane in 2012 and joined Helix in 2017. Over the last year, she has been working with clients, such as BicMedia, DEG and Copaken Brooks. We asked Ellen to share her secrets to success and how she plans to celebrate.
Q: Any weird study habits?
A: Keeping my headphones in with no music playing. I was reading a lot of dense material, so I couldn’t always listen to music, but having the headphones in seemed to help me focus.
Q: While taking the exams, did you find you have a favorite subject matter?
A: I actually found the vignettes to be sort of fun. This is the drawing section of the exam, using the NCARB software. Each ARE has at least one. Some as many as three. You get a problem to solve (like designing a stair and ramp or laying out a building) with a limited time to draw your solution to satisfy code and ADA standards. I enjoyed the problem solving aspects, and there is usually little time left to overthink your solution!
Q: Any favorite pump up music or playlists?
A: I found this song My Only Swerving by El Ten Eleven in Spotify’s Focus playlists section. I think I listened to it a million times..
Q: What do you plan on doing with all your extra free time now that you aren’t studying for your exams?
A: Enjoying my weekends a lot more!
Q: What was your first thought after finding out you passed your last exam?
A: Total relief! I took my last four in about six months, so I was constantly studying. After I passed the final one, it was weird to realize I didn’t need to jump to the next and could just relax.
Q: How did you celebrate?
A: I went out to see a band called We Are The Mummies at Knuckleheads. They are a funk band that performs completely dressed as mummies. It was a strange and good ending to a stressful month.
Q: Any words of encouragement for other architects who are currently studying for and/or taking their AREs?
A: Always sign up for another one! I had trouble making time to study unless I had set a test date. I tried to sign up for my next exam right after I finished one – even before I knew if I had passed. I still gave myself some time between to relax, but wanted to push myself to keep moving forward.
Congratulations, Ellen! We are so proud.