TRANSITION YEAR WORK EXPERIENCE
Over recent years McKevitt Architects has experienced a huge increase in the number of students applying for work experience with us. We have always had a policy of facilitating all these students, with none ever being turned away. Over the years a number of students who have passed through the office on work experience have gone on to become architects, and indeed some of them now work here.
It is wonderful that such an interest is being shown in the profession – this interest can possibly be attributed to popular television programmes such as ‘Room to Improve’, ‘Grand Designs’, etc. The other reality is that the population is expanding and the economy is on the up so the construction sector is booming again. Thankfully Architecture and design are now becoming part of Irish culture and awareness.
As part of the TY work experience 1 week programme we try to expose the student to as much of what we do as possible so they understand the working life of an architect. Over the course of the week we attempt to bring the student out on site to assist with measured/topographical surveys, attend site or design meetings, etc. (project and weather dependent). We introduce the student to some basic computer software that we use on a daily basis: AutoCad, SketchUp and Photoshop. The student gets to sit with each member of staff so they can explain what their role is and tell them about the projects they are working on. We also introduce the student to some key literature and guidelines that we work to. During the week we give the student a small design project to let try out some of the information and skills that we have introduced to them to – the project is based on an existing completed building, so at the end of the assignment the student can see what way we designed the building so they can compare their efforts against ours!
Over the last year we facilitated 25 students coming from 14 different schools in the northeast. We strive to give these students as comprehensive an experience as possible. In order to maintain the high standard of work experience that a student should enjoy, we have had to limit the number of placements per academic year. We would advise that any interested students apply as early as possible in order to secure a place, ideally even before the academic year in question. It goes without saying that we would appreciate it that the students who apply have a genuine interest in architecture, and are not just looking to fill a week. It should also be noted that most schools tend to arrange work experience at the same time which can often cause difficulty - this reinforces the need for early applications.
For more general information about Architecture in Transition Year: