SUMMER – WHAT TO DO?
With the holidays long over and the next semester approaching its midpoint, what will you do this coming summer? Yes, it is still a few months away, but now is the time to start planning and implementing. Truth be told, the planning should have begun prior to the holidays, but do not let another day go by before starting.
High School Student:
If you are a high school student (no matter what academic year), what are your options? Truly, there are myriad of choices for you to help you propel your career in architecture.
Architecture Summer Program: Read the statement below that highly encourages you to participate in a summer architecture program.
The summer before my senior year, I attended two summer architecture programs; both exposed me to what college would be as an architecture student and the field trips to architecture firms showed me a glimpse of how life would be as an architect. I drew, created, and recreated…just like a real architect. These experiences helped solidify my decision to pursue architecture in college.
Both experiences were invaluable in preparing me for college. They helped influence the colleges to which I applied. The final projects I created during these summer programs provide me with materials to incorporate into my portfolio. Bottom line, I highly recommend taking advantage of as many architecture summer programs as you can!
Robyn Payne – Future Architect
Review the list of Architecture Summer Programs below to begin your journey in becoming an architect.
Summer Career Position: A valuable opportunity is to gain a summer position in an architecture firm or related employer. At one level, you may not think you would be hired, but you do not know unless you contact them. Be sure to network with your family, friends, or teachers to connect with firms. Even if you cannot gain a position, inquire about a shadow experience. Do NOT work for free but having the experience in a firm can be valuable.
Research Colleges: Depending on your academic year in high school, you may wish to consider researching potential architecture programs for your future college choice. Probably the best online resource is the following:
https://www.archcareersguide.com/arch-programs/ — Access the Architecture Program listing on the ARCHCareersGuide.com website to find a wealth of resources on the programs. Most importantly, you will find a link to the website of each program. When researching programs, what are the most important criteria?
Summer Career Position:
No matter your academic year, you should pursue a summer position in an architecture firm or related employer. If you are a first- or second year, you may think you do not have the experience or skills needed by an employer. Regardless, go for it because there are variables that could still land you a position. Two sources to connect you will potential employers are listed below:
Campus Career Center: Most architecture students do not typically frequent their campus career center but should. Many campus career centers connect students directly to employers, but they also provide workshops on resume-writing, interviewing, networking, and other topics that can help.
Program Career Fair: Many architecture programs host a college fair bringing architecture firms to campus to connect / interview with students. You should absolutely attend even if you must miss class to connect / network with visiting firms.
If you are not able to secure a position in an architecture firm, do not worry; your time will come but do try and secure a position that will improve your skills.
Coursework: Many current architecture students take courses in the summer; most will take general education courses at an area community college. Doing so will reduce your credit load during the academic semesters; if you plan to do so, be sure to consult your academic advisor to confirm the courses will transfer.
Study Abroad: All architecture students should study abroad at least once during your academic career. Even if your program has a study abroad experience during the academic year, you should explore participating in one during the summer. It will be less expensive. Check out the possibilities with your study abroad office.
Now is the time to begin your planning for the summer; regardless, what you decide to do, START now to ensure you do what you want.