I’ve been off the radar for a while now, however I’ve ran across a friend’s blog the other day and thought I should get back in business myself (check his blog here, he’s a cheeky little bastard). So I come bearing new insights on how to succeed in being a good candidate for an archi placement, of course speaking from experience (try this at home guys 😛 ).
The first order of business: getting in touch with archi practices.
Guys I can tell you this: don’t lay in your beds crying that no architect you tried to get in touch with wants to reply to your emails. THEY’RE BUSY PEOPLE! Don’t even think they haven’t seen your emails within the first 36 hours since you’ve pressed send, however they’re busy people with a lot on their plates (that is if they’re good at what they’re doing). Therefore, get out of bed, pick up the phone and call them, set up a meeting before they get a chance to think about what’s going on, then walk up to their office and swipe them off their feet.
I for one was lucky enough to do my very first (serious) archi placement with PZP Arhitectura, a great Archi practice in Bucharest (check them out here), full of lovely people which I have grown to love and respect (cheesy I know, but very true). As you know by now, architecture takes commitment, and that’s valid not only throughout archi school but in practice as well. Your employer wants to see that he/she can depend on you, and let’s face it: if you like what you’re doing it won’t seem as if you’re sacrificing your free time to do ‘work’. Here’s a funny story for you: I think it might have been my 3rd ‘day’ (you’ll get the inverted commas in a bit) in the office, when all of a sudden, an earthquake of about 5.5. on the Richter scale knocked the sleepy-ness out of us at approximately 4 a.m. Now that’s dedication (although practically speaking I haven’t done much work on that particular project).
No one likes the weirdo in the corner. Although everyone is busy working, everyone needs a little tea-or-wee- break , and everyone knows you can’t have those without a little philosophical debate about the latest happenings in architecture….or about what X or Y did last night while being oh so very drunk. Don’t forget you don’t have to sneak in the Uni staff’s office to make a cup of tea anymore, because YOU are part of the staff now (downside is that when the cleaners complain about the mess in the kitchen you can’t blame it on those pesky archi students who sneaked in last night and made such a mess). In order to have great outcomes, the work environment needs to be pleasant. But when you’re scared of the person sitting next to you, the environment is anything but pleasant. So socialize!
And last but not least: communicate.
Don’t forget that you’re not working on your studio project so the changes you make can affect a whole chain of people. Make sure you tell your supervisor about every change you make, because you are young and let’s say unexperienced so bad things might happen (Vera, if you’re reading this sorry about those bathrooms, my bad )
Hope you guys enjoyed and learned something from this post. And while on the subject I would like to thank everyone at PZP for such a great time there!
May the force be with you,