This introductory chapter focuses on what it means to be a licensed architect, including the role, expectations, and obligations of a professional. There is discussion about education, experience, and examination requirements for reaching this important milestone. Advice from Charles Gwathmey, Mario Salvadori, and George Anselevicius suggests important linkages between design and practice, which is a recurring theme in the book. Additional imperatives—stated here and elaborated in subsequent chapters—epitomize how common sense, design, and practice should ideally all intertwine to produce works of architecture. The chapter concludes with guidance on navigating the path to licensure and beyond: how to thoughtfully consider designing a personalized career trajectory, creating a running résumé, and balancing work and personal time.