Finishing University and looking for a job within the Built Environment can be a daunting task as it seems no one really knows what to expect. As a Part 1 Architectural Assistant successfully employed and looking back at my undergraduate studies, I wish there was a lot more I had been made aware of. The work you complete at university is one of your first steppingstones to secure you a job as it enables you to create your portfolio. If you’re at this stage remain as organised as possible, recording everything you have done will enable you to choose your best work at a later stage. Starting a portfolio sooner rather than later makes life a whole lot easier when applying for jobs. Thousands of people graduate with a good grade, you need to stand out from others. Create your own opportunities with an innovative CV, make the effort to reach out to architecture firms.
In accompaniment to reaching out, this is the start of your networking in the Built Environment, jump on LinkedIn and start building your contacts. Being given the opportunity to work at Arkhi Architects as an Architectural Assistant has proved to be an invaluable experience in relation to the tasks, responsibilities, and individuals I have met. Here at Arkhi some of the responsibilities I have been given I wouldn’t have dreamt of being able to do straight out of University. I have met and liaised with clients, completed the early stages of projects from 0-3, completed planning applications, visited sites, been introduced to building regulations, and the list goes on…
Having had discussions with my friends who I studied with at university, those who managed to secure themselves a job, it seems everyone’s Part 1 experience has been slightly different! Working in a smaller practice it seems you are given a lot more responsibility and gain a lot more experience on projects. My fellow colleagues at university mainly went off to work at larger practices and seemed to have had a significantly different experience in relation to the work and responsibilities they were given.
Coming to the end of your time as a Part 1 it seems there are endless different routes you can take post year out in industry, however following the route to become a qualified architect requires further studies and industry experience. During your time as a Part 1 Architectural Assistant this is something to consider during your time out in industry, beginning to prepare your next steps, even though you have just started to settle down into the industry!
-Written by Thomas Oldhan