My AIA is…Experience, Leadership, Friendship

I’ve been involved in the AIAS/AIA for a decade – no, I’m not joking.  I joined the AIAS in 2002 during my freshman year in college at Iowa State University. Upon transferring to the University of Colorado, I chose to continue my involvement with the AIAS the following year – though, this time I decided to become an active member and hold a number of leadership positions.  Upon graduation I didn’t hesitate to join the AIA as an Associate member. I saw it as the next step, a progression through my professional development just like completing IDP and taking the ARE’s. For 10 years, each January, I have proudly filled out my AIA membership form. For 10 years I have never once thought about why I stay a member.  Until now that is.  Now I have been asked the question “Why be an AIA member?” Well fellow readers, here’s why I have continued to be a proud, active, and supportive AIA member…

EXPERIENCE – My first experience with the AIA was during the fall kick off AIAS meeting during my freshmen year at Iowa State.  I had no idea what I was doing or why I was there but a friend had invited me so I attended the meeting.  While eating my free pizza I wondered what I was getting myself into… Fast-forward four years to Cincinnati, Ohio at the 2005 AIAS Forum.  There I was, standing in front of 4,000+ students giving a speech as to why I should be elected as the National AIAS Vice President.  Talk about an experience!  In four short years I had become so passionate about the AIAS that I wanted to make a difference at the national level. Unfortunately, I was not elected into the National AIAS Vice President position. Though given that amazing experience, I was able to take my strong passion for the profession and put it to good use at the local AIA Colorado level.

LEADERHIP – I have been fortunate enough to get elected into a number of leadership positions in both the AIAS and AIA.  These leadership positions have given me so many opportunities throughout my career to not only serve my fellow students and associate members but have also provide me the opportunity to experience what it means to be a leader in our community.  I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything and I would encourage all of you to run for a leadership position in your student or professional organizations.  The experience you will gain is worth every volunteer hour you will ultimately serve – and, the best part, you’ll meet some amazing people along the way.

FRIENDSHIP – Since my first days as an AIAS member I have met amazing people. Some of my best college and post-college memories involve the fine people associated with the AIAS and AIA organizations.  To this day I still remain close friends with a number of people I have met around the country and know that these friendships will continue for years and years to come. The people are truly what make the organization great. I encourage each and every one of you to reach out, to meet the wonderful people who are involved in the AIA organization, and to create those ever-lasting friendships.

Join the AIA NOW! http://www.aiacolorado.org/joinnow.aspx

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