MADAboutMADA S1 02

Isha: Welcome to MADAboutMADA podcast. A podcast by students from the Monash university, arts, design and architecture faculty.

(Everyone): This is Isha and Nadia and seyed,

Isha: and welcome to todays; podcast episode. Today we will be getting an insight of the life of the graduate of architecture. Our guest for the episode is one of tutors from our second year of university ‘Rosie Norris”. Rosie is currently working as a graduate of architecture at IMA, and also working part time a design studio tutor for first year student. Today we will be discussing her journey as a graduate and she will be also giving us some helpful tips of how to prepare and apply for job in the architecture industry as a student and as a graduate.

Nadia: Hi Rosie. Thank you for joining us today on our podcast. How are you doing?

Rosie: Yeah good thanks for having me

Isha: Nadia and I had you as our studio tutor in second year, but we remember you talking about working as a graduate architect, would you like to tell us more about that?

Rosie: Yeah sure so I graduated Monash in 2016 and I started working as a graduate pretty much straight from there and I have been tutoring as well as working as a graduate, and also doing a few side projects of my own in the design world.

Nadia: That’s great

Nadia: How well do you think university prepared you for the architecture industry?

Rosie: That’s a really good question. I think there are so many avenues of architecture, there are so many different streams that we can get into. It teaches us how to think about or how we might achieve these things. It doesn’t teach us everything. I don’t think that’s possible.

Nadia: In terms of the design software Which one do you think are most relevant in the architecture industry?

Rosie: Yeah another really good question. The industry when u start looking for jobs and applying for jobs, a lot of the time they will ask you for specific program just because they don’t have the time to teach you, it does take a while to learn. So at university I fully recommend trying everything. Try a bit of Revit, try a bit of Archicad sketch-up rhino grasshopper. Every single programs. So you are at least aware of what’s out there. But it really does depend on where you end up working. If you have a dream job know what programs they use so you can apply for that. It does make a difference

Nadia: in terms of fining the job, when did you get your first job in architecture and what was it like?

Rosie: The first job in architecture was in third year. So I started hmm I just did a competition for an architecture firm in WA. so it was about 6 weeks over a summer. I think in spring break. and then I started working for an architect when I came to Melbourne. So in my masters in fourth year, and I was doing my bit of work bit of site measurement and cad work and drawing up office. Very boring office fit outs and then I start I switched it a little bit to my fifth year, and I started doing disability access consulting so very relevant more building survey and understanding Australian building code and national construction code and then yeah full time jobs after uni. So a few things while studying

Nadia: That’s great

Isha: Can you run us through your process of finding a job?

Rosie: As a student or as a graduate?

Isha: As a student

Rosie: networking, asking your tutors if they know of anything. There is also a lot of Instagram and Facebook. A lot of post for architecture students. Looking for one day a week or during the break. I know there is quite a few firms that do a year. So maybe in between third and fourth year or fourth and fifth year you might do a year off or six months off. Oh finding a job hmm yeah I think it’s also just asking. And say I want a job this is what I want to do. Do you know of anyone? I had defiantly a few people emailing me from your class saying: Hey have you heard of anything or can you be a reference as well.

Isha: how did you prepare your first folio?

Rosie: Folio has taken a lot of time and a lot of thinking. It starts with kind of going alright this is the work I have done. What do I want to show people? Being really directive about what you want your folio to show. Some work isn’t relevant and some of the work you do is really relevant so really strategizing that and I have done ten iterations of folio. So it really does depend on how you are feeling week to week and also who you are applying for. So if you are applying for a firm that’s really focused on construction and project management and more sort of small scale, you want to focus your folio on that kind of work. And also show the kind of range you can do as well

Nadia: Is there any minimum and maximum pages for folio?

Rosie: there is defiantly a maximum megabyte. As in you want to be able to email it and they can open it and I think you want to…. again really different for different firms. And we prefer to something different to say to someone else.   So I would prefer to see more of overarching a few pages that shows your and then I get you to an interview and see your personality and make sure you are a right fit and then we can work with you have got. Because I rather to teach you the way we do things than have you coming and going this is the only way I do it. So I like to see the range of work that you can do.

Isha: So do you have like different or would you have like a combination of different projects or do you focus like more on graphic style as well or?

Rosie: again different from a student to a now professional or a graduate. Hmm if I am wanting to apply for a job that focus on interiors, then I will defiantly limit my folio to mostly that work or if I want to look for a job that is doing documentation then I focus on that. As a student you and student port-folio don’t really necessary have that kind of professional experience yet. So I think you just need to show that you understand maybe even what you want to focus on and where you want to go and why the firm you are applying for is the right fit for you. Because they have 100 of applications and so they want to you want to be there as well as much as they want you there.

Isha: Do you have text stuff embedded in your folio to explain your work?

Rosie: yeah exactly like you would do in a studio presentation or in a folio for studios. you need to be able to explain quickly, diagrammatically, concisely what that project was about. So that someone can look at it and read it and see what you were doing.

Isha: That’s really helpful. [um] Was it competitive finding a job?

Rosie: it’s’s . I wouldn’t say it’s competitive, as in you’re not fighting and faddling out against your colleagues. I think it’s just finding the right space and don’t be afraid of rejection. As in, don’t be afraid when you don’t get that dream job because there will be another one around the corner and luckily in Melbourne and in this industry, there seems to be enough work for everyone. I don’t think it’s – it’s still competitive. It’s still I guess, yeah. That’s a hard question [laughs].

Nadia: And in terms of like bachelor and masters of architecture, what type of job do you think people can get with just like being a bachelor degree.

Rosie: Yeah I definitely think there’s a student experience kind of year out that you can get from your bachelors degree, and I think that will help you in your professional degree of Masters. And we do need to think of the masters as a professional degree. You need to come with that knowledge of what the industry is like because it will help you. Masters is a very different type of learning environment than your bachelors and I do think there are student roles and graduate of architectures – as in the bachelors, the bachelors degree that you can get. You just can’t go towards that registration as an architect until you’ve done your masters.

Nadia: That’s great. What exactly motivated you to get your masters?

Rosie: [laughs] The title…I guess it was never really a question, because it is such a holistic bachelors and masters, its, it kind of seemed – and that’s the job I wanted, and I think if I had gone ‘alright well now I’ve done my bachelors actually I want to focus on something different, or I want a different type of creative role’ then maybe I would’ve chosen a different masters or post-grad degree. But I just wanted to do it – yeah. And I do need to want to do it. I think you do need to know the job at the end and what it’ll be like and hope that that’s what you want to do because it’s silly to do a masters and then think ‘actually I don’t really want to do this anymore’.

Isha: What’s the process of registering yourself as an architect?


Rosie: The study doesn’t finish, does it… So you graduate from the master of architecture and then you need to do a log book of hours and the institute, or the registration process is in eight elements. They call them elements and each one covers something different within the architecture profession. So, contact administration, feasibility, town planning, design, documentation… all of these are covered within it. You need- at this point, it might change- you need 3,300 hours. So 3,300 hours and a minimum of 40 hours in each category. So yeah, it’s about two years.

Isha: What type of work do you think there’ll be as a registered architect in comparison to, as a grad?

Rosie: [uh] the title? [laughs] I think it does come with a sense that you know what you’re doing because you’ve had to do that 3,300 hours. There is definitely within the architects award, which is how we work out pays, there is definitely a jump that goes from graduate to registered. [Um], but it is about years of experience. I’ve worked with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced and helpful people and they’re not technically a registered architect, but in the end that’s a title. So I think, if you want to work for yourself, or if you want to work for a sole practice; you need it for insurances and indemnities and to make sure you’re covering your own butt. But when you’re working in a larger firm, it’s probably not as important. Was that the question? I think I lost that question.


Isha: it works, it works. What are you aiming towards? So do you want to open your own firm in the end, or are you just planning to work for a bigger firm or?

Rosie: Yeah, good question. I think it’s changed a lot since I graduated, and since I even started architecture. So, at this point, you know we’re all only young- we can do – and that can change in 10-20 years anyway. This point, I am working towards my own, just doing a few projects and trying to figure out what I want to do, and how that might work. And I think there’s a lot of business planning in that; self-management, self-motivation as well. But at the moment, I’m working for a larger firm. So yeah- we’ll see what happens.

Isha: That’s awesome! Just to finish off, do you have any tips for students considering to do their masters?

Rosie: Yeah, Take time to really work out what the industry is like, and if you want to be in the industry. Even to a point where there is not one trajectory, or one pathway with the masters. The masters you can focus on so many different avenues and even with a masters, you may not become a registered architect but you can definitely take that knowledge and that way of learning of post-graduate university experience to something else – other industry related. Also, try and find a little bit of work, even if it’s a week of work experience, or even if it’s just tagging along with someone just to see what an office is like. Each office is so different, big firm, small firm- you know, depending on hospitality, retail, commercial, residential and they’re all so different and I don’t think I really understood that until I started working. So that’s probably the one tip.

Isha: Lovely, thank you so much

Rosie: No worries, thanks for having me!

Nadia: We definitely got a lot of helpful advice from Rosie and we hope you did as well. We would like to thank Rosie for giving us some extremely helpful pointers on how to prepare our first folio, how to figure out which software to use, and how we can apply for jobs after we graduate.

Syed: In my opinion, what Rosie just said about learning different software while studying at university can be pretty helpful for myself and other architecture students. It can make it easier for us applying for jobs since we know a bit of all these main software, like photoshop, Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp and ArchiCAD.

Nadia: Rosie also mentioned processes of becoming a registered architect, which I think can be pretty useful for students struggling- or if they’re finishing their masters and not sure what will happen after they graduate.

Nadia: And also, thanks for listening to this episode of MADaboutMADA podcast. If you would like to hear more, please rate, review and subscribe to the podcast where you will be hearing more about MADA. And also thank you Rosie again, Isha and Syed for participating in our podcast today. Hope you all enjoyed it.

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