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Mentorship Profile: Ilija Todorovic on Jelena Savic-Brkic

22 Nov 2018
Image Credit: Jelena Savic-Brkic (left), Ilija Todorovic (right)
Architectural Credit: n/a
This post is part of our fall 2018 blOAAg series, Amazing Mentorship Stories.

Mentorship Profile: Ilija Todorovic on Jelena Savic-Brkic             

How did you find your mentor?
We have mutual friends so I knew Jelena even before starting the IAP process. Once I received the Intern Architect status, there was no doubt in my mind who to contact for mentorship. Interesting fact: when the mentorship process started, we were both working on the same project – the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, where Jelena was one of the station leads at Dialog. 

Describe your mentor. 
Jelena has a great personality and awesome sense of humor. She loves to travel and so do I, so there is always something to talk about aside from architecture. Regarding the profession, Jelena is one of the most skilled architects I have met. Her experience varies from commercial to transit sector, and she was involved in some of the largest projects in Canada. 
What makes a great mentor? 
A great mentor really cares for your professional growth and tries to provide support at all times. They ensure you stay on the right path at all times and work toward your license. 
In what ways has your mentor helped you? 
Jelena and I share a similar background as internationally trained architects, so we both had to go through the same process of academic certification through CACB before even becoming Interns. It’s a lengthy process that requires focus, discipline and hard work. She was always there to make sure I was on the right path. 
Describe your last meet up. 
Since we work close to each other, the last time we met was outside of her office. The weather was great so we walked for about an hour through parks and side streets. I am always looking forward to our meetings as she tries to keep the conversation light and enjoyable, and at the same time shares her insight and experience that guides me on my career path. It feels more like talking to an old friend who I haven’t seen for a while and there is always so much to catch up on. 
What is the best advice you have received from a mentor? 
It’s very simplebe fearless. 
Ilija Todorovic works at IBI Group where he has the privilege to work on some of the largest projects in North America and plans to take ExAC registration exams next year. 
Jelena Savic-Brkic, OAA, is New Construction Practice Lead and Senior Building Science Consultant at Morrison Hershfield.

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