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Learning the Business of Building

“Very few schools offer the dual degree. UB really has the most cohesive program, and there is a lot of interaction between the architecture school and development that is going on in the city of Buffalo.”
Ann Brozek, School of Architecture & Planning Student
St. Petersburg, Florida

How UB's combined Architecture and Business Administration program gave Ann Brozek a real world advantage

Ann Brozek grew up playing with brainteasers and other logic puzzles, but she did not want to be a math major or to pursue a technical career. “I always had a love for design,” she explains. “I wanted to mix creativity with something logical and technical.” When the time came to build a little house as an art project in high school, Ann knew right away that she wanted to do that for a living. She has not changed her mind since.

After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, Ann went to work for a few different architecture firms in Washington, DC. But with the economic climate change in late 2008, she quickly realized that she needed to be more aware of the business side of things. “I wanted to get more educated about how to run a business,” she says. “Not only to educate myself, but also to be more aware of the things that architects may typically overlook.”

After four years away from school, Ann decided to attend the University at Buffalo (UB) for graduate school at the School of Architecture and Planning. Her ultimate goal is to graduate with a dual degree – an MBA and a master’s degree in architecture. “Very few schools offer the dual degree,” Ann says. “UB really has the most cohesive program, and there is a lot of interaction between the architecture school and development that is going on in the city of Buffalo,” including a proposed project at Canalside that Ann worked on as part of an architecture studio last semester. 

Now, Ann is on her way to achieving her goal and making her dream of being a business-savvy architect a reality. “I never thought I would say this, but I am going to be sticking around Western New York,” she says. “After graduation, I will be getting a full time job either at an architecture firm or a development firm.” 

In addition, Ann will be involved in the business development of a new smart coating for windows – a proposal she developed with two doctoral chemistry students. Their business plan took first place in UB’s 2013 Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition, and now Ann and the team are starting a new company to bring the product to market – and bring yet another dream to fruition.