The Skill You Need: Career Resilience

Watch this webinar to learn strategies for building career resilience from four architecture professionals who entered the workforce during the Great Recession of 2008.

Resilience is a career advantage

COVID-19 has quickly changed the architecture and design industry—and that means a lot of unknowns for new grads searching for first jobs. Your best bet? Career resilience—building skills that help you successfully adapt to change and navigate uncertain times.

This free webinar brought together four architecture professionals who started their careers during the Great Recession of 2008. Learn from their experiences and gain practical advice on maximizing your hiring potential, identifying opportunities, maintaining your mental health, and building a resilient career from those who have been there before.

The Skill You Need: Career Resilience


Meet the speakers


Abigail Brown, AIA
Hickok Cole, Washington, DC

Abigail Brown received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2009, where her thesis won the prestigious Award for Distinguished Research and a Citation for Distinguished Design. After graduating, she began working at Loebl Schlossman & Hackl in Chicago, where she spent three years working on higher education and health care projects while navigating the economic downturn. Abi became a LEED AP BD+C in 2010 and a licensed architect in 2012. She is now an associate at Hickok Cole and a project architect in the multifamily housing group. She is the 2020 vice-chair of the AIA National Young Architects Forum,  past chair of the AIA|DC Emerging Architects Committee, and winner of a 2020 AIA Young Architects Award.


So Young Lee, AIA
HOK, San Francisco

So Young Lee received her Master of Architecture degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. After graduating, she worked at a high-end residential firm until she was let go in 2007. She worked briefly in health care before moving to a startup where she survived five rounds of layoffs before she was let go in May 2010. She found her next job quickly, at a small firm doing affordable housing projects. Restricted to 40 hours per week, Young felt overwhelmed by her free time and limited involvement in the firm, so she began a second master’s degree program. After switching jobs a few more times, she landed a management position with a permanent visa sponsorship.


Donald Mouch, Assoc. AIA
Senior Project Architect
Pappageorge Haymes Partners, Chicago

Donald Mouch holds B.S. Arch (2007) and Master of Architecture (2009) degrees from the University of Cincinnati’s College of DAAP.  Despite having 18 months of internship experience at architecture firms in Cincinnati, Chicago, and New York City, he had a difficult time finding a job. After widening the scope of his job search, Donald began working at Urban Sites, a company focused on property development and management of commercial and multifamily residential projects in a neglected portion of Cincinnati’s urban core. This opportunity showed him how beneficial it can be to work in a related field—knowledge he continues to find incredibly useful and directly applicable since returning to work at an architecture firm in 2012.


Jonathan Tolbert, Assoc. AIA
Sr. Manager, Center for Emerging Professionals
The American Institute of Architects, Washington, DC

Jonathan Tolbert graduated from the Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2009. He worked part-time for a professor and part-time in the school’s pre-college architecture program until he moved to Chicago, where he worked as a style manager and display designer for Banana Republic. In 2010, Jonathan moved back to his hometown of Washington, DC and found a position at Mancini Duffy Winstanley until he was let go in 2011. He worked as a manager at City Sports before landing a position at The American Institute of Architects, where he helps emerging professionals advance their careers through leadership development opportunities. Jonathan volunteers with Open Architecture Collaborative, where he is the chapter director for Washington, DC.