Amanda the Architect

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

Missouri Moving & Pinky

Being without internet for a whole week sure can take a toll on the email inbox and blogging! Whew, that was one big move we just did. Now, finally I am relaxing on our comfy couch, with internet, finally getting a blog post up.

What else is on this busy gal’s to-do list?

Well, an assortment of things. My #1 priority is meeting up with friends and family I haven’t seen in a while. #2 is applying to jobs here locally. #3 is catching up with emails. #4 is finishing the unpacking process and beginning to organize all of our stuff (yard sale is definitely happening this summer!). #5 is finishing some silly paperwork like changing our address, paying bills, etc.

So exciting, I know.

Here’s some excitement, though. I found a bike on Craigslist, and bought it! Meet Pinky:

She’s in pieces, but I’m going to put her together as soon as the parts come in. Sweet! I’m excited, can you tell?

Talk soon,

Amanda

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Filed under: About, Jobs

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, , , , , , ,

A Discussion

As I begin to search for blogs similar to mine (to compare notes and connect with like-minded individuals) I am finding a similar theme. A heated discussion about job loss, retiring architects, positive thinking vs. reality, and in general this recession that has no end in sight.

Take for example this blog post I thought inspiring, especially for someone like me starting something new and taking my life/career/motivation/design challenges into my own hands: “Dear Unemployed Architects: You Have Been Given a Gift” This is a list of ideas, a brainstorm if you will, for ways to utilize free time to reanalyze priorities. Personally, I liked the list. But, there were a few young architects who were like “What! How am I supposed to pay my bills!” They may be a couple of Negative Nancy’s with good reason, but they had some valid points. All I have to say to them is that there are other jobs out there for the time being, it doesn’t have to be in the field of architecture. There is a bunch of freelance graphic design jobs online, which is what I did to support myself for a year. I also became a server at a restaurant. Oh, the things I said to myself while mopping the floors… (“I am way too overqualified to be doing this!” “If only my professors could see me now.” “Why did I go to school again?”) In all sincerity, I truly appreciated my minimum wage job. It puts things into perspective. It also gave me some space in my mind to dream, think, design, breath, and just take a break from the world of architecture. I needed it.

The next blog is about a discussion that took place on Archinet. “Out with the old…” I found to be humorous. I mean, seriously, graduate architects who think they are just as qualified as a 60+ architect who has seen many, many projects from start to finish. I am not that arrogant. Although the title of this blog might prove otherwise… I also liked how this generation of young architects are considered ‘teamplayers’. I find truth in this label, as I have recently emailed a few of my colleagues that are also looking for a job, hoping to find some help. And, yes, they gave me some links and tips to help the job search.

The final blog I am going to write about is called “Why architecture students and recent graduates are lucky” The post may be more than a year old, but it’s still relevant, especially with this topic. I never thought about the perspective of someone in their 50’s, 40’s, or 30’s loosing their job. As a graduate architect looking to become certified in the next three years… I first need the experience to even be qualified! OK, I guess I could start taking the tests now.

The recession is a messed up situation, and there are going to be some raised voices, people are going to get hurt. I genuinely want to know what you think about any of these viewpoints. Do you think, as unemployed young architects, we are “lucky”? Is our unemployment a “gift”?

Filed under: Jobs, , ,

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