The Condition of Interns in Architecture Offices – A wake up call for my fellow millennials

Dear Architecture students,

Do you really expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter? This is not the first time a firm, big or small, renowned or unknown, has written a blunt response to an applicant. Without digging myself too deep of a hole, I would like to explain why this spotlight on professional communication is important, and why every aspiring architect should receive at least one of these types of responses in his/her career.

In acknowledging that this platform is for students, it is safe to say that each of us is receiving working hard to get the best education and experience from their respected institution. But our hard work does not stop there.

Applying for positions in the design field is gruesome. With an overwhelming amount of applications being sent to a firm at any moment, it is surprising to get a response in general, whether good or bad. It is common knowledge to not get upset when a firm does not respond at all.

That being said, no one should take on a working position without knowing the parameters of what is to be expected-whether that be from the employee or the employer. One tends to apply to a firm in one of two ways: a known position is available, or one hopes their work and resume impresses a firm enough to begin a conversation. But when someone sends in an application, and a firm responds in an upfront manner regarding the position they have available, and it’s not glamorous and amazing, we are going to pout and have a fit over it?

We’ve been preparing ourselves for the reality of working in the real world-throughout our educational careers we’ve been told over and over that one does not pursue architecture for the money. You won’t necessarily get to start in the position you are most qualified for either-you either have to continue to learn from your experiences or work your way up. You need to prove yourself to others, a piece of paper is not going to demonstrate your love for design. Hard work, passion and a desire for experience is what drives the design field, not pretty portfolios and nice salaries.

I know I have overlooked a lot on the topic, but only because I wanted to focus on the attitude of our generation. We live in a world where we can say we believe in something and advocate for change-all one has to do is update their status or share a hashtag! (You don’t even have to leave your bed to do so!) Don’t be lazy-if you know what you want, know what it takes to get there and do it. In all honesty, I have a great respect for those who will not work for free, but know that there is someone else who will.

Sincerely yours,

The Devil’s Advocate