Experience is the second requirement for becoming an architect. In most states, candidates satisfy the formal requirement for experience by participating in and completing the Architect eXperience Program (ADP), a program of the profession.
However, early exposure to the profession through the experiential programs often offered through your institution is important. These programs may consist of
- shadowing an architect before you begin your formal education
- a credit-bearing internship while in school
- a career-related summer position in an architecture firm
- your first full-time position in an architecture firm
In all cases, you should seek opportunities for experience.
The authors of Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice recommend that schools, practitioners, and local and national architecture organizations collaborate to increase the availability, information about, and incentives for students to gain work experience during their education.
Architecture begins where engineering ends – Walter Gropius
Acronym for a Successful Career Search
By applying your talents as an architecture student to the career search process, you will be able to design your own career, rather than just letting it happen. You will want to be more creative in organizing your job search and selling yourself to prospective employers. While not guaranteed, the following words, spelling out the word ARCHITECT, may assist you in finding a position. They are:
- A. ssessment
- R. esearch
- C. onnections
- H. elp
- I. nterim Jobs
- T. ools
- E. xperience
- C. ommitment
- T. ransition
Be assertive, learn the career search process, and do not be afraid of rejection. Searching for a job is a skill you will be using throughout your life.
A Final Thought!
The answer, in a nutshell, is:
"Thru your research and then thru your contacts." -- Richard N. Bolles