Capelin Advises AIA Fellowship Candidates What Not To Do

For any number of years, Joan Capelin has been part of the training session for candidates for AIA Fellowship from the New York area.  After the formidable Robin Lee from AIA Headquarters presents the application in all its details, Joan presents “12 Common Mistakes” that people make when completing their application. 

Joan has personally guided the applications of nearly two dozen architects. She also created and co-chairs the GoodFellows candidates’ outreach for the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America, which she chaired in 1999. 

“This is all about your personal consequence,” Joan told the May 19th gathering at the Center for Architecture.  “Your standard marketing language won’t suffice.  This is not about getting a job for your office.  The tone and purpose are entirely different.”

Other missteps include not leaving enough time – “It takes a good five months” – and writing as if the College of Fellows jury members know all about your area of expertise, the organizations you’ve influenced, the writings and speeches you’ve contributed to the profession’s body of knowledge.  “You have 5-7 minutes of their time to consider your application,” Joan reminded the audience.  “Make it easy for them to recognize that your points are valid and that you are worthy of elevation into the College.” 

It is our great pleasure to provide all candidates for Fellowship a copy of Joan’s “12 Common Mistakes” handout, and to wish them great success.  We know how much it matters.