It is the beginning of June; this means the academic year is over – graduation is over, and the summer has started.  For many of you, this also means you are starting a new position (hopefully in an architecture firm).

But how do you get the most of your experience.

Arrive early on your first day

No matter what, be sure to arrive early on your first day of work; ideally, connect with either HR or your supervisor prior to your start to confirm your schedule and other details.  By arriving early, you are making a first and positive impression; this is important.

Upon arrival, be sure to complete any necessary paperwork, obtain any keys or access to the office and any other administrative work.

Meet with your supervisor (boss)

Perhaps not the first day, be sure to meet with your supervisor (boss) to discuss the position and your role within the firm.  One would hope that your supervisor would call for the meeting with you, but if not, ask for the meeting.

At such a meeting, you will want to discuss expectations and goals. Regardless of if this is only a summer position or career position, this initial meeting sets the stage for your success.  Be sure to ask any questions you have including to whom you should approach if you have questions on your work.

Introduce yourself frequently and remember names of those you meet

As the new staff person, be friendly and be prepared to introduce yourself frequently to your new colleagues.  In turn, you will meet many colleagues (friends); as is possible, remember their names for future reference.  It may sound old-school but take notes.  Reference their name and their location within the firm and their expertise.  In other words, know who you should connect with when you have a question or issue.

…know who you should connect with when you have a question or issue.

Ask questions to learn from everyone

Perhaps, it goes without saying, but you should be proactive and ask questions to learn the firm, its projects, and architecture.  All of your colleagues have more experience than you; as a result, you can learn a great deal from them.

Take a peer out to lunch

Once you have made some connections with your new colleagues and have a sense of who you will be working with, ask a new colleague to lunch or coffee. It could be the person sitting next to you or another newcomer who started at the same time. Developing a trusted relationship will make you feel more comfortable as you are getting to know this new workplace.

Engage in the firm’s activities

Aside from doing your work (very important), be sure to engage in the firm’s activities; these may include “lunch and learn” or the summer softball / volleyball league.  As well, consider attending their “happy hour” at the local pub.  Basically, you want to embed yourself with the firm culture.


Congrats on your new position!  By following the steps above, you can assure your success.

Let us know how the start of your position goes —


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