Sunday, January 18, 2015

LAR 560 Conference Call with Shawn Balon (01.14.15)

For Professional Practice this week, we spoke with Shawn Balon, PLA, ASLA and I was very impressed by his extensive work history and methods of approach to design and practices.  I found his messages and candid accounts to be very striking and effective in demonstrating practical applications of his history in the field and his commitment to involvement in bettering society as a whole through architecture and education. Being a life-long learner myself, I could connect with his concepts about the need for constant challenging yourself and ultimately expanding your worldview. 

There’s always a chance to go back, but you’re going to learn more by going forward,” Balon said when discussing decision-making and pathfinding when navigating new professions and opportunities. 

I felt it was an incredibly positive information session and he had a great deal of information for us about his life path and the profession. His genuine frankness about the decisions he made and how he arrived where he was today was both inspiring and transformative.

Some great takeaways from the meeting were his lists of common pitfalls and some sage advice that struck me as very wise and practical. 

His “Common Pitfalls as a New Professional:”
1) Ask a ton of questions, but you need to ask more. 

2) Prepare more. We often feel underprepared. 
3)  To not be frustrated with ones’ self for not knowing all of the programs. 
4) Don’t be bashful.
5) Don’t be afraid to challenge the ways that things have always been done.

One of the best takeaways, for me, was: “Take advantage of the moments that you have.He had this vibrant, infectious enthusiasm about the transitory state of life and finding your purpose.

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