March 27, 2019

Congratulations to our 3 interns…no more!

We are excited to announce that RAI team members Brock Klassen, Rachael Alpern, and Noah Jacobson are officially registered architects!

After passing their accreditation exams, the three former interns now have a few more letters behind their names. But this milestone is not a mere formality – it is the culmination of years of education and thousands of hours of on the job training.

After breathing a collective sigh of relief, Brock, Noah, and Rachael recently sat down to discuss what life has been like as Architectural Interns at RAI, and to consider what it took to make it this far.

None of the newly minted architects knew from the beginning that this was the field for them. “I knew I wanted to do something creative,” says Brock. Early on, he had considered a career in advertising, but the problem-solving challenges of a drafting course convinced him to change direction.

Rachael’s early aspiration to be an astronaut or a forest ranger laid the foundation for her interest and passion in sustainable design. She has always been interested in the relationship between the natural environment and the built environment, and now she draws on nature as a source of design inspiration. Ultimately, her approach to sustainability is down-to-earth: “It’s just the right thing for us to do as humans. We don’t have to destroy the earth we live on.”

As for Noah, his career in stand-up comedy has not worked out so far, but he is quick to point out that a sense of humour helps when it comes to being part of the RAI team and work relationships. In fact, these relationships are part of what first brought him to Republic. “I was looking for a great team more than a specific typology,” he says.

With new schedules, technical demands, and responsibilities, the transition out of school and into the industry can be difficult. “It’s a total change of pace and skillset,” says Brock, so finding the right team to work with is essential.

After studying and working in places like Mexico and South Korea, Rachael saw Republic as a firm where she could continue to grow. “I wanted to work with people who were as ambitious as I was. It felt like there were lots of options here,” she says.

Since starting with Republic, she has worked on projects all across Canada, including in the far north. But it is the projects in her own neighbourhood that she feels the strongest attachment to. “I feel so giddy with excitement that I improved the aesthetic quality of the environment I walk past every day,” she says.

Noah agrees, his favourite project at the moment is a siding replacement project in Nova Scotia. “I appreciate the opportunities I’ve had to create social engagement in spaces,” he says. “It’s satisfying to see a project you worked on being built.”

As they look ahead to the next phase of their careers, the new architects agree that whether it is a migratory bird sanctuary, a government office, a post-secondary institution, or a community hall, the projects that matter the most are the ones that have a positive impact on the public.

“I believe that architecture is for everybody,” says Brock. “It’s about spaces that are available for everybody and created for the common good.”

Congratulations to Brock, Noah, and Rachael, and good luck as you begin this next phase of your careers!