You finally finished the race. Gone are the classes, the projects that took you whole nights, and the deliveries that made you doubt if you had chosen your profession correctly … and now, what’s next?
Despite everything you have learned during these years, it is very likely that the panorama in the professional field is very different from the one you lived in college.
We present the 10 things that every architect should know when they finish studying:
Invest time in your portfolio
Your job cover letter will be your most important tool once you are out of college. In the same way that no architect would save on any kind of materials for a project, underestimating the way you present your work to clients and employers would be falling into a gross error. If you need the help of a designer or a web programmer to create an attractive portfolio that matches you, do not hesitate to hire the services of one, because more than an expense, it is an investment in the future.
Context and functionality first
It is normal that you have a long list of architects who inspire your professional work and try to imitate their principles, style or philosophy, but nothing will give you more credibility than concentrating on the context of each project, thinking about functionality, and above all, how your ideas will transform the lives of the people who inhabit that space. Adapting to the environment and thinking about utility with social responsibility is as important as any other detail of a project.
Maintain a disciplined work process
Most architecture students discover too late how to organize their work to be more efficient and not spend entire nights without sleep. If you were lucky enough to do so, you may have noticed that your time management improved and you not only had moments to correct and learn more but also to relax and put off homework for a while. In your professional life, maintaining discipline in each of your processes will be as fundamental for your work as it is for your personal life. Only you know the method, the schedules, and the ways that work best for you.
Exploit your strengths
The architecture is so broad that no professional can master each of its facets masterfully. Although the profile of the star architect who designs icons of a city is the most popular, the truth is that there are endless opportunities to develop professionally as a researcher, restorer, designer, or material designer, among many others. Profiling from the last semesters and putting into practice the tools you acquired in college.
Architecture is not everything
We know that you are passionate about architecture and you want more than anything to live from it, but that does not justify that your work becomes the most important thing in your life. Learning to manage time and find moments to spend with your loved ones, meditate or dedicate yourself is as important as fulfilling your work obligations. Dedicate yourself to your other passions besides architecture and hang out with people who are not involved in the same to get new perspectives. If you have a creative jam, get out of the workshop, put your computer and mockups aside, and take some time off.
Master the software
One of your strongest cards once you enter the professional world will be your ability to apply everything you have learned from a computer program. Your first job will most likely depend on your skills to handle much more than AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Photoshop. Do not leave aside tools such as Revit, Archicad, 3DS Max, or Rhino and look for tutorials, online or face- to- face courses to get the most out of them.
It is not a cliché, but a reality that you should be aware of when you finish college: learning never ends. Yes, classes and sleepless nights are over for doing final projects and dedicating yourself to a workshop, but that does not mean that you do not have more to learn. Now more than ever, finish the architecture books you didn’t read, take online courses and stay up-to-date on everything that happens in the world of architecture. To know more visit Architecture Master in Europe.
But it returns to the principles constantly
Keeping up with current trends and architectural discussions will give you the necessary dose of reality that everyone needs once they leave academia aside, but that does not mean that your vision becomes systematic and you do not have time to return to the basics: carry sheet and paper with you, draw to capture details that have gone unnoticed, go back to basic geometric shapes and if you are going through a difficult professional moment, stop to think about what inspired you to choose this career.
Strive for everyone to understand what you do
Yes, your parametric design classes were exciting and you learned a lot from them, but it is very likely that when you take your first pitch to a client, they lack the knowledge to theoretically understand what you are trying to explain. The best way to defend your projects is to use basic language in technical terms that can be understood by a non-specialist. You must be able to express why your project is the best, list its qualities, explain the concept, and make it attractive in less than five minutes.
You can have the most useful books and know the description of your favorite projects by heart, but nothing enriches an architect more than traveling. Whenever you have the opportunity, dare to travel to a new place, especially if it is a reference city in urban planning, a place with a rich architectural history, or the home of some of the works that most inspires you.