Alexander — Bachelor of Design (Architecture)/Bachelor of Construction Management

Why did you choose to study built environment? 

From a very young age I loved building with Lego and Meccano, which evolved into a passion for design and an acute understanding of building and renovating. You could say I was born into it, in fact, as my family has always been involved in property — in particular renovating and redeveloping houses.

What was the best thing about your course?

The double degree gave me a holistic understanding of the methodology of construction and the nature of various facets of the construction industry, while also ensuring a solid design understanding, which underpins the architectural units.

What was the worst thing about your course?

The worst part would have to be the long nights and lack of sleep endured when producing various architectural projects and assignments, such as building models.

What did your course involve?

The make-up of the various units I undertook ranged from standard lectures and tutorials to studio and design collaboration work. There was no direct work experience involved within the double degree, although it was encouraged.

Have you found work in your field?

I have recently accepted a position at an international company that has placed me into a large public organisation for 12 months acting as a construction manager working on various projects around Victoria. This opportunity arose through my network of friends in the industry — something that I take great pride in maintaining. It was through a personal recommendation that I was offered an initial interview that was followed up by a secondary interview, after which I was offered the role.

What advice would you give to students considering studying built environment? 

Dream big, but make sure you ask for help along the way. Sometimes it’s really tough but there is always light at the end of the tunnel, so always remember to have a laugh and enjoy life outside of university. In terms of making connections and gaining employment, I'd suggest that you try and work with different people of group assignments and attend uni events, but also make sure your friends know what you do and if you are in fact looking for a job. I make an effort to have a meal with a few mates from uni that I otherwise would have lost track of — I think that it’s important to build on these relationships because we are like-minded and in similar industries. Social media tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook could also provide a platform to maintain these relationships.

Have you completed further study?

I’m currently completing a master of architecture. This is partly due to the qualification structure within architecture, where a masters is required for professional registration, but I’m also hoping that furthering my education will open more doors in the industry, particularly overseas, which is a great motive as I love to travel.

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