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When did you decide that you wanted to study architecture and what led you down that path?

I think I was pretty lucky in that I had known that I wanted to study Architecture for a while. Even when I was young, I loved to watch Grand Designs [television series] and to draw buildings and plans, imagining myself inside those spaces. On family trips to a property at Texas, Queensland, my cousins and I would build huts or make house layouts using logs and branches, riding our dirt bikes up and parking in the ‘garage' before spending hours in the imaginary house, building and rearranging. So, architecture was always my focus when I had to start thinking about a career.

You’re into your second year of a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Queensland (UQ). What has been the highlight of the course so far and what is ahead that you are most looking forward to?

I still can't believe I'm more than half way through my Bachelor! One of the highlights would have to be site visits, both of buildings in construction and the sites where our design projects will be situated.

But outside of the work itself, I have loved being able to engage in the architecture community at university. Being quite a small school in comparison to other sectors of the university, there is a strong collaborative feeling within our studios, which is nice when you're freaking out about a design project.

Also the exhibitions, social lunches, and celebrations after our critiques are a great chance to socialise and network with other students, tutors, professors, staff and practicing architects.

In the future, I'm looking forward to studying abroad for my masters, but first taking a year off between degrees to work and gain valuable experience. I think it’s important to take some time out to rest and travel, especially when so many of us have gone straight from 12 years of schooling into tertiary education.

You work part-time at McLellan Bush Architects: how did you come to work there, what is your position title and what are your responsibilities, and what is the most important thing you’ve learned there so far? 

 Last year, I undertook some work experience at McLellan Bush Architects after getting in touch with them through St Peters (Springfield). Then, midway through this year, McLellan Bush got in touch again as they were seeking a new student to train and work at the office. I couldn’t believe that such an awesome opportunity had come my way and was excited to get this practical experience early on! 

As a Student Architect at McLellan Bush Architects, I get the opportunity to work on a range of projects from initial sketch design for clients, through to site visits and observing and assisting with construction documentation, which is an experience I wouldn’t have access to at a large practice. 

One of the best parts of the job is being able to learn through watching everyone else in the office manage their tasks. From this, I've developed an enhanced criticism of my own work which is really important at university and work, as we must make quick design decisions that we could otherwise spend hours thinking about. 

What advice do you have for school students who want to pursue a career in Architecture?

Don't think that you have to be an amazing drawer, or be good at maths or physics to do Architecture. In fact, many people come in and haven't drawn a plan in their lives. The great thing about the course is that you can learn many of these skills in your first year, with communication courses alongside studies in Design and History. Aside from the architectural skills you learn, the course also makes you think more critically and strengthens your verbal and visual communications skills, as we often present our work in a critique format to get feedback from a group of students, a tutor and a guest. So, even if you're unsure if you want to take up a career in architecture, it is a great base course for a range of other careers in design and other fields like engineering, project management and even humanities and psychology. 

Architecture often isn't advocated as much as other fields are when you're thinking about careers at school, so it is important that if you are interested, you go out and investigate a little bit more to see if it is something you would like to do. Go to open days, visit a school of architecture, do some work experience and talk to architecture students, because we love to share about the intense but fun life in Architecture School.