October 18, 2010

Architecture Internships and my Career Path

After graduating from McGill University in 2003, I began my architecture career by moving to Bangkok, Thailand - mostly as a break from the brutal Montreal winters but also to gain some international experience. Once there I found an architecture internships at an engineering and construction firm, helping with project management and document control. Definitely not the most exciting job, but it created opportunities that, as I look back, were invaluable. After 6 months I transfered with the company to Shanghai, China and worked with a team of talented designers and engineers. We did master-planning and architectural design for industrial parks around China. After another 6 months, now armed with a year of experience, I once again hit the open job market. It was an ideal time as China's cities were going through unprecedented growth. It only took a few weeks for me to find new work, this time in a boutique design office. I was given the opportunity to work within a small design team and develop proposals for architectural competitions. This fast paced creative environment allowed me to explore a wide range of architecture from sports centers and office towers, to schools and affordable housing. Furthermore this experience honed my architectural interests and ultimately led me back to school to focus on sustainable architecture at the University of Oregon. I graduated in 2008 and once again skipped over the border to work abroad, this time in Berlin, Germany. After another two years I recently relocated to Portland, Oregon to settle down and continue my architecture career. This long path was improvised as I went, yet it wouldn't have been possible without finding that first internship. It set the dominos in motion and really molded my early career.

I wrote this story as a way to introduce a website that contacted talkitect.com today. It is a site that lists internship opportunities in different industries - specifically they have a section dedicated to architecture and design related professions. It might be a great way to establish some professional experience and lead to interesting opportunities.

From the site:
Finding a job in the architecture field can be very rewarding, but differentiating yourself from other candidates can be a lot easier with job experience you can gain from an internship. Experiencing an architecture intern position can equip you with the tools and on-the-job training you can use to land your dream job in both small and large architecture firms that deal in the construction of small and large building projects. Architects are also responsible for designing landscape elements for building exteriors, parks, recreation areas and general residential garden landscaping. Architecture internships, in particular, are a good way to get your head out of the books and learn how to build, create, manage, or engineer a construction project in the office and on site. As in many construction internships, interns get to experience hands-on training, similar to apprenticeships, that can enhance a resume or lead to interviews and full-time employment. Interns are often given the opportunity to demonstrate specific skills or focus their energy on specific projects that may be of personal interest to them. Architects are also on the cutting edge of green design, which is a growing sector in very high demand. Start your search today at Internships.com.
If you are interested in finding architecture internships or something in a similar field check out their listings: architecture internships

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