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What It’s Like Being on OAA Council: Alberto Temprano

16 Oct 2019

The nomination period for candidates for the OAA Council elections is open until Monday, October 28. (Emails were sent out on October 7 to all eligible nominators.) For the upcoming term (January 1, 2020), there are six Architect vacancies and one non-voting Intern Architect vacancy.

Being elected to serve on Council offers many rewards. It is your opportunity to share your expertise and learn in-depth about other aspects of the profession, regulation and the association's structure, as well as numerous programs and services. It's also a chance to gain a wealth of information, and give back to and influence the future of the profession.

To get a better sense of what the role entails, we asked the OAA Council’s current Intern Architect, Alberto Temprano, some basic questions as his term ends later this year.

Why did you decide to run for Council?
A few months after registering as Intern Architect, I was aware of the OAA, but I would not say I was very familiar with the Association’s role… outside of helping me log my hours. I decided to attend the local ‘President’s Welcome’ in Ottawa to learn more. At the event, it was enlightening to learn about the ongoing initiatives that OAA was involved with and how, as a self-regulation profession, architects help shape their own future.

Following the presentation, the Executive Director approached the mic and said something such as, “Before we end the night, this is a reminder that there are open seats on Council, including one for an intern representative…”

I am quite sure I was the only intern in the room that evening, but what I was not so sure about was if this opportunity was one I wanted to pursue. I thought to myself, “Am I ready? I only just became an intern months ago. I only just learned some of what OAA does… there is so much to learn, maybe next year…”

That same evening, I had the pleasure to meet a few past and present councillors. I mentioned my intrigue for the Intern Council seat to one of them. As soon as I had mentioned it, he said “If I could go back and give myself advice at your age, it would be get involved sooner.”

So I took that advice, and from that point on I was serious about getting involved. I spoke with my mentor about the idea, and he could not agree more. My mentor has a passion for volunteerism, and it’s contagious. After speaking with him about my ideas, and feeling encouraged to pursue this further, I applied both to the OAA Interns Committee and for the position on OAA Council.

I decided to run for Council because I strongly believe in being involved in the advancement of the architectural profession through volunteerism. I was ready to listen, and give voice to, the issues and concerns of intern architects. I was confident that my activities would help advance the interests of my fellow interns and the architectural profession.

Why do you like being on Council?
It is with great pride that I sit on OAA Council. Even if only for a year, it has been a pleasure to witness the successes (and struggles) our profession faces each day, and how through the efforts of Council, we make decisions that will have lasting impact on the profession—for the better.

As an intern, it has been humbling to have a seat at the table to represent my peers during the discussions on Council. It is a unique learning experience where you get to contribute to the serious issues that challenge our profession. The experience is made even better by the other councillors you meet. This is a group of passionate and caring peers, who each bring their unique perspective to different issues, and I had the pleasure of learning from each one of them every step of the way.

What’s the time commitment like, and how do you integrate it with your personal and professional life?
The time commitment is well worth it. I worked with my employer to come up with a ‘flexible hours’ solution that worked for both my personal and professional development. All I had to do was work an extra hour every odd day, and earn myself paid time-off to attend council meetings.


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