Sunday, July 31, 2016
Team Member Spotlight

Q+A with Rebecca Barry

Project Architect, Dearborn

How do you describe your job to people outside of the industry?

That’s a hard one. To most outsiders, architect = an artist who designs skyscrapers. I suppose those professionals exist, but it’s not what I do. I would describe my job simply as a problem solver. And the way in which I problem solve is to create drawings so others can envision the solution, and furthermore build it. In addition to being a problem solver, I am involved with customer relations and I help lead a team of people toward a common goal….a successful project and a satisfied client.

Why did you decide to become an architect?

I decided to become an architect in my middle school years because I liked to draw, and other than becoming an “artist” I didn’t know of another profession allowing me to do this. I surely didn’t know where the industry was heading at that time (since hand drawing is almost obsolete now).

How would you describe life at Ghafari?

Life at Ghafari has been a real eye opener for me. Although I would not trade my prior firm experience for anything (which were at firms of less than 50 people and exclusively architectural), there’s lots to be said for being surrounded by multi-discipline teams of people. The ability to collaborate instantaneously with those who have such a noteworthy impact on most facets of a project has proven invaluable.

What is the most exciting thing that has happened during your time at Ghafari?

In the five years I’ve been at Ghafari, lots of exciting things have happened. But just recently, I was approached to help run one of the company’s large client accounts. I accepted a role to lead the architectural component for all Ford Land work that comes through the office. This puts me in the position to not only have my hands on a substantial quantity of projects, but more importantly, gives me the opportunity to collaborate with some of Ford Land’s finest. The role has been fun, educational, definitely challenging at times, and it always keeps me on my toes…these making up the qualities I would hope to find in any position I was put in.

What is a key idea or lesson you have learned while working at Ghafari?

The key lesson that I have learned while working at Ghafari is the importance of mentoring younger staff. There’s rarely an ideal time for training or mentoring to take place; most times the need for it comes at the chaotic 11th hour. With that being said, the need for mentorship has to be made a priority, and I saw the value in this while working at Ghafari. I will always make time for those who need help, guidance or just an opinion. In turn, I too need the same and always feel comfortable that I have the support around me.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I love to spend time with my family, particularly my husband and twin toddlers (talk about real work – that 7am-4pm stuff is easy!). We enjoy being outdoors, particularly on the lake. And I, alongside my husband, am a huge sports enthusiast and somehow find myself near a football field almost six months out of the year (Go Lions! Go Blue!).