As all soon to be architects work their way from internship to licensure, they must find someone to vouch for both the type and amount of work they are involved in. A lot of the time this is simply just going over time sheets and some quick discussions over what phase the project was in at the time. I’m pretty sure that a lot of other professions have a similar process, but architects love to think that we do things differently than anyone else. And while this will give the person the minimum of what is required to move on to the next level, it is a huge opportunity that is being missed by both.
After an extensive amount of research which included reading a few online articles and watching a couple dozen people go through the internship process themselves, I have come up with my list of why all architects should be actively mentoring the next generation.
Even though it seems as though everybody’s time is being stretched thin nowadays, the time you put in to teaching your up and coming people will typically pay off exponentially in the amount of knowledge they put back into the project.
As people become more familiar with all the aspects of a project, not just the bathroom details, a sense of ownership in the project begins. This will also help instill a bigger sense of pride in the work that they produce.
The lure of taking a job solely for more money is typically a very short lived affair, the relationships and experiences that people have at firm are far more powerful in the long run. If you can create an atmosphere where people are valued and have a sense of growth, then they are much more likely to remain right where they are and do everything they can to help grow the firm.
The time between graduation and licensure is arguably some of the most valuable years in defining what type of career a person will have in architecture. The better the experience that this process is, the better the outcome will be when they are dealing with projects, consultants, and clients in the future.
The Architecture Profession
This is kind a broad stroke, but just imagine what it would be like if every future architect (that are eventually going to take over the leadership positions) had either horrible or forgettable experiences during this time period. The cycle would continue, and slowly all of the talent would leave the profession to find something where they could get that sense of satisfaction that could have very easily come from us. -Scary-
I hope this will help push everyone into becoming more involved in with either the younger staff or friends that are working their way to becoming architects themselves. I know simply writing this has made me think twice about what I should be doing with those that are traveling the same rode that I just did.