WHSAD’s Makerspace students have the opportunity to engage in projects that are real-world oriented, learning and developing key skills that provide them with a head-start in their work after high school. One of the key components of our after school program is the guest speakers who share their insights regarding their place in the field, what their careers have been like, and how students should proceed in their work. This Wednesday, Mr. Richard Bearak, who currently works for Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, thoroughly answered questions from WHSAD students.
Below is Richard’s presentation as well as some takeaways from our students.
In the presentation of Richard Bearak he was answering lots of questions and one of them was mine which was “Are there any challenges when picking what project you work on.” Richard told us that they do not have a decision in the department of what project they work on and if it comes their way and they can offer help they take it. Richard also gave someone advice with the schooling he went through basically saying it’s very time consuming.
I learned that you should make use of any opportunity you get because if Richard would have not taken the guy’s opportunity in the elevator he may not have ended up where he is right now. I also learned no matter how big or small the project, you should put the same amount of effort and thought into both in order to be efficient and consistent.
Richard Bearak had an excellent conversation going, and I learned so much and felt extremely motivated by everything that was said. It was a privilege to have him take time out of his day to answer our questions and just continue to encourage us to work for the life we want. It has been a dream of mine since I was little to be an architect, so even though he isn’t exactly an architect, he touched on basic similarities between the two careers that I will carry on with me throughout my college and internship experiences.
During Richard Bearak’s presentation, something stood out to me. When I asked him for advice for pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture degree at NYIT, he answered by saying, “Be prepared to give up some of your life.” This stood out for me as I feel this is something that I’ve often overlooked when thinking about getting this degree. Now, giving up some of my life, or freedom is something I will take into consideration.
Being in the meeting with Richard Bearak, I learned a lot of valuable information and about a lot of the projects he is working on. I particularly enjoyed hearing about his projects that will help place families in affordable housing. Hearing how there are so many children in the school system who are homeless, his projects are essential and it was very interesting to hear about that and more.
From Mr. Bearak’s talk I learned about the role he plays when dealing with landmarks. In the meeting he explained how his job is to provide technical support and feedback to the Carrol Gardens Neighborhood Association. I also learned about the early stages in his career when he was attending college and how his experience required a lot more work and time.
I really like Mr. Bearak’s talk. He was really insightful about the work environment. Many times when you’re in a workplace, people don’t tend to agree with you and have the same opinions. That’s something that we as beginners in the field are going to have to get used to. Also, I was impressed by the fact that he said that small things can lead to big plans in your future. That is something that we always need to take into consideration while starting our career.
It’s always incredible hearing from influential people. My first time speaking with Mr. Bearak was before the pandemic and lockdown started. Students from WHSAD were brought into a room that was very grand and full of pictures of historically influential figures who contributed towards the development of Brooklyn. There were so many things I learned and it’s incredible that Mr. Bearak works on projects in and out of the borough. He genuinely cares about his job and communities throughout the city. I was in awe at today’s meeting to know that there will be development happening in my own community which is very rare. I hope to hear more from Mr. Bearak as I plan on applying to volunteer/intern at Borough Hall.