Archinect

Architectural Ellipsis

... Intern Architect ...

  • Can we talk?

    I'd like to talk to you about unpaid internships. I thought this was pretty much self-evident, but it keeps coming up and I'm realizing now that maybe I had given you too much credit to piece this together on your own; so let me lay it out for you. 

    Don't work for free.

    Is that clear enough? It should be. If not, you have bigger problems to worry about. Quit architecture and seek competent medical help. You'll be better off for it. I could go find some statistics and talk about labor laws and all that to make my point but I don't think it really takes all that to convince someone of this. It is much simpler. 

    You see, when you work for free it affects me too. I know it may not seem like it, but it does. When you work for free, it sends a message to your employer that it is ok. They will bill their clients less for more services (if they don't why can't they pay you?). This lets them undercut their competitors' fees and win more work. This makes the competitors want to do the same so they can be competitive too. In order to do this they must either hire unpaid interns, or cut the pay from their own employees. If they don't hire unpaid interns or cut employee pay, then they will make their employees do more with less. This means that I have to stay late and work more. Don't make me stay late ... I like to go home and see my family and have a life outside of work. Don't make my employer cut my pay ... I like how much I'm making and I worked hard to get to this point.

    You want to work more and not get paid for it, fine. Volunteer for a non-profit and do something worthwhile with your time ... in the meantime, keep a solid job working for a decent wage so I can go home on time and get paid a decent wage. There are tons of good causes you could get involved in that would benefit from your willingness to volunteer. Many of them even need design services. Your employer is not one of them.

    I don't really want to hear about your excuses about why you think you need to work for free. Believe me, I've heard them all before. They don't convince me, and they shouldn't convince you. No amount of experience, networking, or resume building is worth not getting paid for it. There are people out there that are willing to pay you while training you and giving you experience. You can get paid while you are networking. You can get paid by employers that look fantastic on your resume. If you can't find a single employer who is willing to pay you for what you offer, your aren't selling what you can offer well enough. Either that, or the people you want to work for don't have any business sense and their companies deserve to go out of business.

    You have suffered enough. We have suffered enough. It's time you stood up for yourself and decided you should be compensated like an adult for what you offer to the world. You're not alone. I'm right there with you, and many others are as well. Some of us have managed to find work for relatively decent pay, and you should too. We'll all be better off for it.


  • ARE 5.0 and Forums

    ARE 5.0 is going live next week and in anticipation of transitioning to take my last two divisions of the ARE, I've been looking at some of the options out there for information. One of my first stops was ARE Coach's forum, where I went primarily for information regarding ARE 4.0 vignettes...


  • Your Job Posting is Confusing

    Occasionally I peruse the recent job postings here on Archinect just to get an idea of the types jobs out there and what they are looking for. Many times I find these postings confusing and/or contradictory. Now I've posted about some of these job postings before in the forums (you can sift...


  • "Intern" replacement coming from NCARB?

    NCARB recently published the 2015 NCARB by the Numbers report. This is the first since announcing the sunsetting of the term intern, and it looks like NCARB is keeping it's promise to not use it. Remarkably, the only occurences of the word "intern" are when it is used in the name of the...


  • NCARB Punted the Intern Title Debate

    Preface: The news is out and already old. This post has gone through plenty of iterations. I've tried writing a response to the news that NCARB is sunsetting the term intern various ways and none of them seem to really sit well with me. I've tried to discount their stance. I've tried getting angry...


  • Ceci n'est pas une pipe

    I hope this wallpaper doesn't catch on. I'm all in favor of the artwork, but just don't bring it into a building as wallpaper. Leave it as part of the museum's collection.SourceI would much rather see this instead. But I also don't hope this catches on as well.Source


  • Entry Level ... with Experience

    I've been looking at job opportunities lately. I don't know if anything will come of it, but either way, I've been looking around. I seem to be noticing more and more postings that are advertising for "entry-level" positions, but have a list of requirements that makes me wonder if employers and...

    You keep using that word ...


    Jefe, what is a plethora?



  • Keep Calm and ...

    For the last few weeks I've had my head buried in work. While it seemed to continue to pile up, I finally created a little room to breathe the last couple of days. I've been able to get a bit ahead, finish up some tasks and I have to say, it feels quite good. It has also allowed me a bit of time...


  • Well Hello Graduate! Welcome to the Rest of Your Life

    It's that time of year when a new crop of recent graduates is out looking for work, realizing that this summer marks the beginning of their new lives. Landing that first job can feel great, but getting there is only part of the story. My post today, in addition to the warm welcome, is an attempt...


  • Architecture ... In Your Ears

    As an intern I tend to spend quite a bit of time in my cubicle plugging away in CAD. In school, I listened to music to help pass the time and monotony of working on a project, but in the office I find my pandora station either starts to repeat the same stuff constantly, or I spend too much time...


  • On Internships and Mowing the Lawn

    Spring is finally here in the US and that means that students everywhere are working on their portfolios and getting ready to apply for summer internships. Even everyone's favorite blogger-tect and twitter-tect is sensing the longer days of sunshine and dusting off old posts to help the potential...


  • Want to be an Architect?; Don't Learn Revit

    Before you skip the rest of my post and start flinging words around in the comments, hear me out. I think Revit is a valuable tool and that soon (if not already) it and other BIM programs will become just part of the game and you'll have to learn it. It's either that or you can become an...


  • A.R.E. Strategies

    You'll never hear me claim I know everything. A lot of my intentions for starting this blog include getting the advice and opinions of others out there (see the last paragraph here).  With that in mind I wanted to reach out to the archinect community for some wisdom.  I'm looking at...


  • Parasitic Interns

    I came across this over on Houzz (hatezz that name by the way). While I hope the series is tongue in cheek, the distribution of the intern struck me as odd: "The Intern is a parasitic species, typically found clustered around Architects or Interior Designers, dutifully cleaning up the designs."...


  • Let's talk about ...

    As you might have gathered from the description in the sidebar, this blog is about the parts of the profession that we tend to gloss over, omit, or just don’t talk about; what I call an architectural ellipsis. Perhaps a few quick examples may be helpful in understanding what I mean. An...


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About this Blog

An ellipsis [...] is used to signal an omission, an unfinished thought, aposiopesis, or brief awkward silence. Architectural ellipses are those aspects of the profession we (perhaps intentionally) omit, gloss over, or let dwindle in silence. Generally applied this blog should encompass many aspects of the profession. Yet, as an intern architect I'll focus primarily on the architectural ellipses that occur in the internship process.

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