Alumni Profile: Sevan Benlian

Woodbury University alumnus Sevan Benlian who graduated from the Bachelor of Architecture program in 2004 and the Master of Science in Architecture, Real Estate Development, in 2008 now serves as a commissioner on the Design Review Board for the City of Glendale, California.

Woodbury University was able to catch up with Benlian. His experience at Woodbury University has helped him establish his own firm, Benlian Design & Development.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments (both personally and professionally)?

I have two: 1) My career, up to this point, has been my greatest accomplishment. I work on the construction side of housing within Carmel Partners at CP Construction West, Inc. The company is a multi-billion dollar business that acquires land, develops it, constructs it, and then manages the units. 2) Meeting and marrying my wife, Rita.

How did your time at Woodbury School of Architecture helped you to pursue this?

Faculty members are all professionals in their field with insight into everyday career experiences. My experience with the MSArch RED program was all hands-on, my professors took the class to their development projects – this was the best real-world experience available.

What have been the biggest challenges in your career?

The 2011/12 collapse of the construction and architect markets was challenging. My experience at Woodbury University helped me to establish my own firm, Benlian Design & Development, and not be afraid to go out and start my own business.

What advice would you give to younger alumni or current students who are entering the professional world?

Get involved in the professional world as much as possible early on. Internships are key; those hours will help you determine the direction you want to go in. Build relationships with faculty. Faculty members are professionals in their field, and they can help you determine your professional path.