Money & Career Tips for Recent Architecture Grads

Study Has Shown That Money CAN Buy Happiness After All

If you just completed an architecture degree program or have been working for a year or two, there are plenty of things to think about. In addition to your overall career trajectory, get ready to make important decisions about your personal life, whether to open a partnership, how to deal with financial needs and more. For so many recent grads, the focus is on launching a professional partnership. Other major issues include whether to apply for a personal loan, building an extensive network, getting experience, finding architecture firms that offer the best opportunities, planning a career path, selecting a mentor, and staying abreast of the latest technological advancements in the field. Consider the following suggestions.

Preparing to Launch a Startup

Many professionals who are fresh out of school and have a year or more of experience under their belts choose to open a partnership practice. Whether the business includes two, three, or a dozen members, there is always a need for seed capital. Besides detailed planning and budgeting, raising startup funds are the primary component of any worthwhile partnership launch. For architects, step one is choosing a partner or partners.

In most cases, people prefer to work alongside fellow classmates or family friends. The goal is to team up with another professional who shares your overall goals for a business. Next, the partners must develop a detailed plan for operations and a precise budget that covers the first year of activity. After those crucial steps, it’s much easier to know how much capital you’ll need to get the partnership off to a good start.

Personal Loans Can Make a Difference

Taking out a personal loan is a reliable solution in many situations for young professionals. Individuals who need startup funds for a partnership, need cash to finance an upcoming wedding, or need to do a few house renovations can get a quick start by applying for a personal loan. It’s a wise and fast way to get needed capital for virtually any purpose under the sun.

However, potential applicants should educate themselves about the risks associated with borrowing money. In many cases, applying is a smart choice. To make an informed decision, do research and find out about the pros and cons. Then, when you have a full grasp of the way borrowing works and all its implications, make a choice about whether to move forward with an application.

Network Like a Pro

No profession is immune from the need to network. Architects probably get a greater benefit from the effort than others because of the profession’s inherent atmosphere of connection and interdependence. It’s never too early to begin collecting names of individuals and organizations that can boost your career now or in the future. Networking is about gathering data related to people you meet and connections you make.

Who should go on the list? Include former instructors with whom you developed a good relationship, mentors, architects you know personally, classmates with whom you worked on projects, company representatives you’ve met at job fairs, placement directors at schools you attended, and anyone else who can play a role in advancing your career.

Get Experience ASAP

Accumulate your required experience hours by interning, working on short projects for pay, taking full-time work with firms, or any other way possible. The experience challenge for professionals is similar for those in architecture, accounting, law, medicine, and engineering. A degree bestows an academic credential, but hours on the job confer an even more important distinction for a recent graduate.

When you are seeking one of the types of jobs you can get with an architecture degree the first two things prospective employers look at on resumes are education and experience. Even for those candidates who have just received their diplomas, interviewers are interested in activities like internships, independent projects, and summer work. Spend the months immediately after graduation acquiring as many on-the-job hours as possible.

Find a Mentor

Having a mentor can make a huge difference in your career path, potential earnings, and job satisfaction. Spend time searching for someone with whom you feel comfortable. Use informal routes for finding a mentor by asking friends, fellow students, and instructors for suggestions. There are experienced, older architects who are happy to shepherd a new grad into the profession. The tricky part can be finding those individuals who have the most to offer. Be patient in your quest, and the right person will eventually appear.

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