Elana Castle follows up on the progress of the 2013 Arkhefield Internship Programme.
October 9th, 2013
Following on from a highly successful 2013 internship programme, Brisbane-based architecture firm, Arkhefield have launched a state-wide competition for their 2014 intake. The office-generated competition encourages architecture students to compete for three internship roles at the firm.
“We believe that asking students to invest their time and passion into a competition indicates their commitment to joining us. It’s more than merely submitting a portfolio,” explains Philip Pawsey, Arkhefield Managing Director. “We are also keen to provide a level playing field, providing the same opportunities to all students.”
The 2013 programme unearthed three very capable and knowledgeable architecture students from the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology. Jeremy Field, Stephen Carmichael and Anthony Ip had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects of varying type and scale, exposing them to a number of areas within the field.
“By running this competition, we found students who demonstrated the highest skills across the areas of design thinking, technical ability and communication and their skills in these areas has been a great addition to our team,” adds Pawsey. “Including a presentation in the competition also ensures we get to assess student’s communication and interpersonal skills which are as valuable in the workplace as technical and design capacity.”
Asked about their experience to date, all the students were effusive regarding their career progression. “I’ve learnt how to interface professionally with many people, including co-workers, clients and consultants,” explains Field. “Just being in an atmosphere surrounded by professionals has helped me tremendously.”
By providing a flexible working environment, the programme has enabled the students to mature and develop their skill sets in a number of areas.
“The hands on practical experience has been a great learning curve for me as I feel that this kind of knowledge can’t be obtained through studying at university, “adds Carmichael. “The thing that I like the most about working at Arkhefield is the variety of work I’ve been given and the opportunity to work directly with my colleagues.”
Whilst providing extensive exposure to the field, students were challenged by the flexibility required to work on a variety of projects simultaneously. “My primary challenges have been to juggle between different jobs,” explains Ip. “In the morning I could be working on a residential job and two hours later, I’m asked to help out on a commercial job with three hour deadline. However, as an architecture student, this exciting type of lifestyle constantly creates new opportunities to learn and understand all the different phases and issues of a project.”
Despite, the additional work required to secure their internships, the students all unanimously support the competition-based programme. “I think it’s great that there was a level playing field for the position and unlike other jobs it didn’t just come down to a resumé and portfolio that received one glance and a split judgement,” adds Field. “Winning a job through a competition for a top tier architecture studio feels like a great way to start my career in architecture. I would recommend it to anyone.”
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