6f8a67e483c346a56c27a7a70b34b060The first job in a good architectural studio is extremely important for up and coming aspiring architects. It sets the basis for the future. But before the all-important interview, a thorough research of the firms, and their philosophy is extremely important.Khushboo Agarwal, Asst. Prof. in Jhulelal Institute of Architecture, Nagpur has some pointers to help you zero in on the right firm.  
Finding the right job can be quite a task. The process brings forth various questions that needs pertinent answers;  Big firm or small firm? Which city? Which Architect? What kind of questions will they ask? What I should ask and how should I reply?  What type of work they do? What kind of projects should I look for? What about the work culture, environment, colleagues, among many others. 
Honesty is the best policy:
To begin with, always remember the old adage; honesty is the best policy. An honest interview is the best interview that one can give, and it is more likely to succeed!  Be truthful about what know, don’t know, your skill sets and problem area, and your experiences.  Other important questions include; what is it that you want to learn, and where do you see yourself in five years from now.  If they find your thoughts in alignment with theirs, and vice versa, then you have got what you were looking for! Yes, it’s almost like finding a life partner! 
5bfb210cf8b1d82e1374efb8b62c0d9cHow to find the right studio

Be Clear about: 
What type of work do you want to do?: Residences, Commercial, Concept development, Design Development, WDs, Presentations, Model Making, Competitions, etc. Big firms have different teams working at different stages of one project. Small firms got a team (one to three people) for one project. So, either be a part of one stage or a part of entire project, in big and small firm respectively.
What type of work you DO NOT want to do: Toilet details, rendering, presentation making, site survey, tender filing, etc? You need to learn all this for sure but let’s not keep doing ONLY this forever!
1cd7b0a4b0d2019c5885cf5db0c83a85Negotiate salary and leaves judicially: Find out the pay scale in that particular city for your experience. Don’t get exploited, but don’t be too demanding either. Remember you are just starting off. 
Enumerate your skills and weakness: It is imperative to remember that architectural firms are always in a hurry, they have many projects to complete. Therefore, tell your prospective employers what your weak points so that they don’t put you in charge of something you may not be able to do; leading to missing deadlines!
What kind of Architecture/Architectural Practice do you believe in?: Corporate, social initiatives, competitions, urban development, interiors, architectural research, minimalist designs, Indian contemporary works, or doing designs just to survive. Choose wisely! You will get everything in the outside world!
Be Honest, and tell them for how many months/years you would want to be associated with them: You will want to leave comfortably without breaking any commitments.
Facts you must know before choosing any studio –

  • Typologies of project.
  • Scale of project.
  • How many architects and interns currently working.
  • Studio structure.
  • Design philosophy.
  • What kind of projects will you be working on and in what capacity.
  • Rules about timings, leaves and paychecks.
  • How often will you get to discuss the project with the principal architect.
  • What do they expect from you?

Always give your judgment after the interview whether you want to work with them or not. After all, it should be a two-way street. It is very important that you like your employer as much as they do. Also, remember no studio is perfect and sometimes some minor compromises are alright.  You need to look at the bigger picture and see what you trading for what!
Good Luck! 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Khusboos guidance is just apt at this juncture when students are so much in conflict as to why they want to do what they want to do. Thank you khusboo and hail hail Cindrebay for such an insightful article

    • Thank you so much Sangeetha for going thru the article and finding it useful. That’s encouraging. Keep checking the space for more! 🙂

  2. You have always helped me whenever I needed it most , since from childhood of my architectural journey as my teacher and yes,this post is one of those most needed thing in my current list which will definitely guide me in future. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

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