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Working as an architecture student seemed inevitable for me. When I was in architecture school, I didn’t have rich parents or a fund set up to send me to college. My family did manage to help me with some tuition a little bit each semester. At the end of the day, I essentially put myself through college with scholarships and student loans. Outside of tuition, I needed money for food, architecture supplies, books, and everything else a twentysomething would need money for during architecture school.
Working for Architects vs. Not Working for Architects
Early in my education, I became a wizard with CAD and started working for Architects. I very quickly realized that I could translate understanding how to use and maneuvering my way around CAD software into a skill that I could use to make money. The knowledge I obtained while working for Architects gave me an advantage in school; I started building my portfolio and resume. And most importantly, it prepared me for life after architecture school. On the other hand, working for an Architect wasn’t always the answer when I needed money. Depending upon what was going on with my life, the semester, and my workload, I frequently took jobs that had nothing to do with architecture. These types of jobs allowed me more time and space for school, sometimes paid better, and taught me valuable life skills that I couldn’t have gotten in an architecture firm.
You Really Need Both
Architecture students ask me all the time about working while going to college, and I always lean toward telling them to try many different experiences, rather than getting cozy with one job or firm. As a student, I believe it’s more educational working for several different types of firms than working for one firm for several years. This week’s blogpost is a free downloadable eBook that helps Architecture students understand all the options for finding work and evaluate the pros and cons of each type of job. Get the free eBook by signing up for the Young Architect Newsletter below.