It can be daunting to go from studying architecture at university to being out in the real world. You’ll start asking questions like “What firm should I go to?” or “Do I know enough to work on a project that will actually be built?” Don’t worry – this is completely normal.
But to help you bridge the gap between university and career, we’ve listed some essential tips for emerging architecture professionals.
1. Look out for #1
It’s your career and yours alone. Make sure you’re getting the appropriate experience and opportunities in the firm you work at. If you aren’t, ask for it, or move on to a firm that will help you grow and develop your career. Speak up if you’d like certain experiences or training sessions.
2. Voice your opinions
The best ideas are never incorporated into projects unless they’re presented. Projects can be improved if you simply point out a better solution to decision-makers, so find a firm that is willing to listen to you. Most firms are good with including young professionals in the design process, but make sure you ask in the interview about their particular design process and how you can be included.
3. Design your career and position
All of us are unique, with different talents, skills, interests and passions. You’ll enjoy your career and be better if you are passionate about it, so continually reflect on your experiences to determine what you really want to do. But while you have the responsibility for your own career, it’s good to find a firm that helps foster it as well.
4. Technology will lead the way
You must stay at the forefront of technology. Learn BIM while studying, and look at discovering new software. If you can graduate having decent knowledge of the technology used, your transition will be much easier. Always continue to investigate new software and bring that knowledge to your firm.
5. Be a champion of sustainably built buildings and environments
Firms are taking sustainability more and more seriously now, so learn as much as you can about sustainable building. Knowing information about sustainable design should certainly put you ahead of your competition.
6. Save the profession
Architects aren’t fairly compensated because our profession is very undervalued. Teach, share, show and demonstrate in the local area how we improve the world, helping people understand our profession.
7. Never stop learning
Education doesn’t finish in university. Continually learn to stay at the forefront of systems, technology and more – be proactive about learning as much as you can during your career. Ask questions in your firm, attend design lectures and go to seminars.