Monday, February 14, 2011

Finding an internship in Architecture, not Computer Science

So, How does a newly graduated architect find a job or internship?  The process of finding a job is not easy.  The best course of action is to begin making yourself attractive to employers now, before graduation.  To separate yourself from the crowd of newly minted architects you want people to know you as more than just the fancy resume and portfolio on their desk.

1. Network
You have access to a ton of people at school.  Get to know your professors as well.  They can be the key to your future employment.  Make sure everyone thinks you are competent.  These people will be your professional peers for a long time.  They can be a great help long after graduation.

2.  Volunteer
Another great way to meet design and construction minded professionals.  Habitat for Humanity or design charettes are a great way to met the people you could someday be working for.  You AIAS chapter should be able to help with this.  If the chapter isn't organizing volunteer efforts, this is your chance to really make a name for yourself in the region.

3. Portfolio
Start early, like now, and take advantage of all resources.  Post images, sketches, etc. on linkedin and create your own website to broadcast your work.  There are many options for free web space.  The public nature of this will also provide great motivation.

4.  University Career Center
Yes, they can actually be helpful.  Many alumni prefer to hire from their own alma mater.

5. Headhunters
Avoid them!  Employers pay these people a fee of up to 30% of your salary for their assistance.  That was maybe worthwhile in 2006 when the economy was humming.  Today firms are swimming in resumes and don't want to spend more than they have to.

6. The Search
To weed out the ads for computer architects, look on AIA, archinect, and other architecture web sites. 

7. Interview
Be confident in your abilities!  If you’re unsure of yourself the interviewer will know and will assume that you just your lack of confidence is based on poor performance. 

There you go.  A few tips which I should do a better job of following myself.  Its rough out there so good luck everyone.

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