Amanda the Architect

documenting the projects and inspirations of an unemployed intern architect with some ambition and lots of time

Tuesday Readings

Today I have been immersed in reading some intense conversations online about unpaid internships. I first heard about it on Architizer and was quickly whisked into the wonderful online world of opinionated blog posts and anonymous comments. I have seen some posts in the past on the subject of unpaid internships, but the debate gained new momentum when the NYT posted an article on it. The debate really heats up here, on Design Intelligence blog, where the subject is Architecture: A Corrupt Profession? Posts and discussions like this really make me wonder if it’s all worth it, as I constantly reconsider my interest in the architecture profession.

Architects Who Eat Their Young, a blog exposing firms who offer unpaid internships. I found the Robert Siegal post particularly interesting. Although it is illegal, I would consider an unemployed part-time internship to gain some skills and build my resume. Seriously, how am I supposed to learn Revit, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Rhino, etc. without access to these expensive computer programs??????? Seriously?!? I am searching high and low for an entry-level position at an architecture firm, and every one requires CAD and 3D modeling skills, which I don’t have. It’s a vicious cycle that I wish I had the answer to.

Architects Doing Other Things is my favorite find of the day. Click on Nancy Gordon and/or Allyson Wray and you will find my personal favorite inspirations. (I’m seriously considering a volunteer trip to Peru now.) It’s wonderful to see other amazing, talented women doing stuff they love and owning up to becoming responsible for their own success. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder in a firm the typical way, these women take a more organic approach. I love how they all don’t really know where they will be in the next few years, but are just doing what they love and seeing what works.


Filed under: Inspirations, Jobs, , , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Anna says:

    Well Amanda, I know it won’t make you feel any better, but I reconsider my career in this field almost every day, too. I was especially depressed when, right after being laid off, I discovered that drafters can expect to make $60 right out of college in the Springfield area, but architecture interns don’t make anywhere near that amount! And interns have to eventually be licensed, unlike drafters!
    I feel like we really got the short end of the stick at Drury because they were always pushing hand drafting, but nearly every office uses CAD.

    • Well, let’s keep our chins up and hope for the best in the near future. I am also disappointed that Drury didn’t push us to learn any CAD, as I have to go back and learn, at a community college. If I don’t find an internship by July, I plan on moving back to Springfield and going back to school (OTC) and taking some drafting classes.

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May 2010
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