THE LIFE OF A PART 2 ARCHITECTURAL ASSISTANT

By Craig Higgins18th February 2020
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I’m writing this to give you a glimpse into the life of a Part 3 Architectural Assistant at Thomas Robinson Architects and to try and describe what a fantastic opportunity it is to be a part of this skilled and creative team!  I have been working for the practise for nearly three years and I am coming to the end of the Part 3 process, so I have first-hand knowledge of what to expect at TRA.  I can honestly say that the level of experience across all the Part 3 Criteria available to me while working here has given me the best foundation on which to build towards sitting my examinations that I could have hoped for. 

Working with the team of dedicated and passionate Architects and Designers at the practise you will be able to observe and participate in all aspects of professionalism that are required of us as Architects such as integrity, impartiality, professional regulation, conduct and discipline.  You will be expected to track and record your time and often work autonomously, which are essential elements of your experience in preparing for Part 3.  The practise also organises regular presentations to make sure everyone is kept up to date with the latest regulations and building products.  I have recently been asked to take over the organisation of these events; just one of the many opportunities I have been given to show my responsibility at the office.

At TRA we are a very client-focused office with an emphasis on quality of design.  This means you will regularly be in contact with clients in meetings and on the phone and will be able to observe and participate in the creation and management of good Architect/Client relationships.  You will be directly involved at all stage of projects from concept design through to construction and completion and will gain direct experience of budgets and cost monitoring.  It can be a daunting when you become responsible for speaking with clients and contractors, but you will be surrounded by a very supportive team and be given just enough supervision to let your confidence and knowledge grow. 

You will be directly involved with the preparation and submission of Planning and Building Warrant applications which will go a long way in developing your knowledge of Statutory Consents and the relevant Building Regulations.  A benefit of working at TRA is that we regularly work in conservation areas with Listed buildings and environmentally conscious design which will expand your knowledge of these types of projects.  Don’t worry, you won’t be stuck on the dreaded door schedules for eternity!  The level of direct involvement and responsibility you will have with Planning and Building warrant applications at TRA is second to none and is very valuable for your logbooks. 

TRA is a friendly and inviting office to work in and it is run on an ‘open-door’ policy where questions are welcomed. You will have the opportunity to observe how the practise is run from day to day and participate in office meetings where resources and project progress are discussed.  You will observe discussions regarding budget and fees and see how the office balances resources and time. The atmosphere in the office is friendly and team-focused and everyone works together to achieve the best for our clients and the practise.  It is amazing how much you will learn just from be immersed in the daily life of the practise.

Due to the size of the practise you will also get the chance to observe and participate in both Tender and Construction stages of a variety of projects.  You will regularly be able to attend site visits to see projects as they progress, to get involved with site meetings with contractors, and discuss progress with clients. I have particularly enjoyed this part of my time at TRA as it has greatly improved my confidence in detailing and specification as well as conversing with other consultants.

I wholeheartedly recommend that you apply for this position at TRA.  I couldn’t think of a better practise to work for when studying for your Part 3 exams.  Like me, you will have the opportunity to be involved with a wide variety of dynamic and exciting projects that Part 3 candidates rarely get to work on.  As an enthusiastic and design-focused office I have even been encouraged to develop my photography and 3D visualisation skills!

 

So… what are you waiting for?!

 

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