Bauer Helps Architecture Professional Make Transition to Business World
As a little girl, Jamie Brown liked to tour the historic homes and courthouses of Louisiana and Texas, where she grew up. At the time, it seemed only natural that Brown, who now holds an MBA from the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, would work in architecture.
She graduated fourth in her class at Edgewood High School in northeast Texas, studied environmental design at Texas A&M (’06) and worked in the Houston office of Leo A Daly, a prestigious international architecture firm. But as her professional responsibilities grew, she found the business more interesting than the building.
“I figured out that the days I got to go out and talk to people or spend time problem-solving with other people were better than the days I was stuck at the computer drawing out toilet partitions,” says Brown, who holds the Green Building Certification Institute’s LEED AP (accredited professional) credential.
So in 2008, the East Texas native who grew up in Shreveport, La., decided to pursue her MBA at Bauer while working full time. As her studies evolved, she shifted into marketing and business development at Daly, where she was on the sports-architecture team. That transition prepared her for latest career venture.
In March, Brown (MBA ’10) became senior marketing coordinator at the Houston office of Perkins + Will, a leading proponent of sustainable architecture. In her new role, Brown gets to draw on both her skill sets.
“All the projects that we do are designed for a LEED silver certification,” Brown says. “It goes back to my environmental design degree. We design projects that respond to the environment, so I really enjoy being able to market such outstanding works.” We recently chatted with Brown — who loves to cook, travel and listen to Texas country music — about her education and career so far.
What sort of architectural projects did you do? “When I first started at Daly, I was put onto UT El Paso’s basketball practice facility, and it was a really cool building. But about halfway through, my project architect moved to another firm, so I was kind of stuck on that one by myself right out of college. It was a little bit harry at times, but it turned out really well.”
Why did you decide on Bauer for your MBA? “I knew that I needed to work while I was going to school. So I was trying to find something in Houston that was affordable but still highly regarded. Bauer was the choice for me.”
Did you have an area of concentration? “I tried to take as many leadership classes as possible, because I really enjoyed learning more about what a leader is vs. what a manager is.”
Were there courses you knew would be helpful in architecture? “The marketing classes. That’s kind of what the business side of architecture is. … A lot of it is marketing and pushing your firm and selling its portfolio.”
Tell us about your job at Perkins + Will? “I mainly concentrate on our corporate, commercial and civic market in addition to our science and technology market. I collaborate with offices all over the world to create proposals, brochures, promotional event pieces and other marketing collateral. ”
Finally, how did Bauer prepare you for this? “Not coming from a business background, I learned so much in the two years that I was there. … And I really appreciate that a lot of the professors had been in the working world. They were not just professors their whole life. I think that adds a lot to an educational program. I also think the relationships that I built are invaluable. I still keep in touch with many of my classmates, who are all excelling in their fields. It’s really nice to be included in that level of professionalism.”
By Wendell Brock