Je3y
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#1
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#1
Hey, I am currently in Essex and wondering whether anyone knows any firms near this area that i could gain some work experience related to architecture?
I have recently finished my AS and start A2 in september.

Oh yeah, are there any firms that actually reply to college students?!
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jrhartley
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#2
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Are there firms that actually reply to Part I students with a first class degree from one of the top UK unis I think would be more the question!!!

Regrettably for you (and all of us), in this economic climate, it will be very hard for you to find something I think, unless you make it clear that you will work for nothing. But even then, you may find it hard as obviously the qualifieds will have to consecrate time to you to tell you what to do, etc. Often its just quicker for them to do it themselves.

I know that a huge number of my year haven't found work for their year out, including a number of people who got firsts! Its very tough at the mo, so I wouldn't get too crestfallen about the absence of replies. To be honest, your time would probabluy be best spent just learning Photoshop, Vectorworks, SketchUp, improving your sketching skills, photography, making some physical models.
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Richiboi
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#3
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have a mother who's workplace is being extended, and who knows the site manager. thats how i got mine a few weeks ago.

and £50 for 2 weeks.
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rmyl
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I think you'll be alright as long as you're looking for unpaid work experience. Just make sure you ask soon, because most places like to know in advance before a work experience person comes in as it takes a bit of planning to make sure people are around to help and for spare work to be available to work on.
But like jrhartley said, you may find it more difficult this year as many firms are feeling the credit crunch and are hardly keeping on to their paid staff, let alone having the time to take on new ones.
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Richiboi
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look in a fairly big practice- a one man band is not going to take you on unless your qualified.

dont be disappointed if Foster and Partners dont want you either though.
I ended up in M & S for my school W.E because all the architects in my town were sole operators.
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jrhartley
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be very relieved if fosters don't want you. tax avoiding, money obsessed, black polo neck wearing smug sell-out lord that he is!
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Richiboi
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#7
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(Original post by jrhartley)
be very relieved if fosters don't want you. tax avoiding, money obsessed, black polo neck wearing smug sell-out lord that he is!

care to enlighten me? im too poor to afford journals to form my own opinion.
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jrhartley
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Well, despite being a Lord in the United Kingdom, Foster, after doing his lucrative deal with 3i which netted him about £500m decided that he would now go and move to Switzerland, in order to avoid any tax liability he would incur from staying in the UK (Capital Gains Tax on the sale of his business). Although he claims that the reason for the move was that it was somewhere he always wanted to live - yeah, right, Norm, like you didn't have enough cash before to buy yourself a chalet on a mountainside!!!!

All this, despite the fact that his business has been running for so long, he'd be paying CGT at the taper rate of 10%, so £50m, leaving him with £450m. I know none of us like paying taxes, but in the grand scheme of things, and given the UK has been his making ground, and above all, given he's an honorary LORD, it might have been nice if he felt he could have parted with a bit of that cash to return to the country.

More fool 3i, is what I think, for paying so much for the business. Not someone I really admire, Foster, I have to confess.
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RocketTown
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i've always wondered, what did norman foster do to be made an honourary lord? just... be an alright architect?
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jrhartley
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i think so. that and bung the labour party a bit of cash before a general election.

another example that beggars belief about foster is that Archaos - a student architecture body - essentially had to name and shame Foster & Partners. The story goes that during an awards ceremony, Foster got up on stage and pledged a £2000 travel bursary each year to one architecture student who made the best application for the cash. Everyone applauded, thought what a jolly generous chap Norm was, etc. 2 years later, nothing had happened, so Archaos made a big song and dance about it and said "look, don't go pledging things you don't intend to come through on". fosters replied pretty damn quickly then, claiming it had taken two years to get the system / infrastructure for the £2k bursary in place.

yeah, right. It's just a case of putting a page on the website inviting applications, reviewing them once a year and deciding who most deserves the cash, then writing out a cheque. hardly the most complicated mechanism to put in place, particularly for a firm in charge of assembling sky-scrapers.
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Richiboi
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#11
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sounds like a selfish piece of work.
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yeahyeahyeahs
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#12
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Personally I wouldn't bother looking for work experience at an architects office.

A week or two in an office won't really teach you much or give you a proper impression of what architects do.
its most likely they will make you do some sketch up stuff or give you a filing job.
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jrhartley
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http://entertainment.timesonline.co....cle3822530.ece

there's one link to the story. the amount he made out of the sale of his business to 3i has been variously discussed and estimated.
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rmyl
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(Original post by yeahyeahyeahs)
Personally I wouldn't bother looking for work experience at an architects office.

A week or two in an office won't really teach you much or give you a proper impression of what architects do.
its most likely they will make you do some sketch up stuff or give you a filing job.
That's quite a negative view. Maybe it's harder in the south to get work experience, because where i work up north we're always having work experience people for a week or two and they get really involved in real projects and are led by one person in the office for a week.
Having said that when i did work experience back home in southampton i found it easy too to get someone willing to give me some experience when i was in college. I think you just need to try everyone and anyone, in order to get an eye in. I found my work experience invaluable, it helped me decide that i definately wanted to do it. Too many people who study architecture have never set foot in an office and its a big shock when they start work and find its not how they imagined it to be. :p:
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aprildealwis
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#15
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Hi, does anyone know if there are any architecture firms in London that need a volunteer for the summer. I need some work experience.
I just finished my AS and going to start A2 in September.
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Architecture-er
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#16
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(Original post by aprildealwis)
Hi, does anyone know if there are any architecture firms in London that need a volunteer for the summer. I need some work experience.
I just finished my AS and going to start A2 in September.
If you're offering to work for free then I'm sure you'll be able to find something quite easily, though it'll depend on how stretched for work the firm is.. smaller places might be more willing.

I'm currently on my year-out placement at Pick Everard, in Leicester. They're pretty generous with giving out free work experience opportunities (I did a week in their Derby office before going to uni, and I've seen at least one do a week at Leicester), and they have a London office, though it's quite small
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ContemporaryTales
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#17
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Just finished A2s with four weeks worth of work experience accumulated over sixth form, and I live in SW greater London. Honestly, it takes a lot of patience and letter writing (practice for your year out anyway), but it's definitely possible. After GCSEs, I found one placement through a careers fair at my school (she paid me cause she had some weird moral thing about it) and one through hardcore letter writing; after L6th, I found another place through letter writing and phoned up the practice from the previous summer for another placement. (None of them were in large practices; the biggest office I worked in was about 8 architects, some part time). The RIBA website has a list of architect practices by postcode, and Google is your friend. Write literally dozens of letters that sell yourself in terms of skill and enthusiasm. Brace yourself for a lot of non replies and rejection. Lastly, as other people have mentioned, you need to do this a couple of months in advance; the earlier the better - one of the practices I was at only gave out two placements a year on a first come first serve basis.

I haven't even got a confirmed place at university yet so I can't really say how useful it is in the long run, but I sort of played it strategically, so I bulked up stuff early for applications. With everyone getting high grades, it was good to have other things to say in my personal statement, and I wanted to potentially prepare for interciews. The stuff I worked on became part of my portfolio. Skills wise you get a bit of a headstart to CAD, but I really liked knowing what the working environment was like. But I guess I waa lucky to get good placements - you never know when you're going to get a placement to make tea! One practice gave me a design brief for a week that ended with a crit in front of the whole office, another had lots of client meetings, another was a lot of CAD work. Diversity was nice

People's generosity was a great bonus - several architects offered to review my personal statement and portfolio, a practice offered to make the portfolio with me and do all of the printing (A1 for freeee, good god they must have been doing well economically), and interview practice, and they were happy to be references for job applications. Other Part 1 & 2 students at the practices were happy to give advice on the course or their uni.

Sorry for the long (potentially irrelevant) post! I also emphasise that the quality of placements can vary.

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Williamsb2001
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#18
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What do you wear to an internship i.e how smart does it have to be?
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D-legend
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#19
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Yep. It was during the end of my A2 year that I was offered 1- week work experience by AHMM (based in London). I did it in August last year alongside another student who'd just finished secondary school. There were only us two students there. It was a very educational experience.The competition is fierce but it is definitely worth it. Give it a shot.
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