Archinect - Finding my first job 2017-09-22T06:11:50-04:00 Happy New Year Brian Henry 2013-01-01T16:57:42-05:00 >2013-02-08T04:46:08-05:00 <p> Well Archinect, with the beginning of a new year I'm going to be closing the door on this blog. Seems fitting given that I've found my job (the original focus and intent of this blog), and I'm now busy enough with work that I can hardly make time to post anymore.&nbsp;I haven't completely ruled out the idea of continuing to blog about my internship and eventual licensure, but for now I will not be making a new blog on these topics.&nbsp;</p> <p> I thank you all for your interest and participation in my blog and I wish you all the best in 2013 and beyond. I hope that if you are looking for work that this might in some way help you and that my experiences, both good and bad, might serve as lessons for you to glean something from.</p> <p> Thank you Archinect for allowing me the platform. When I saw that you were opening up the blogging platform from just the student blogs, I was probably one of the first to jump on the chance to get a blog.</p> <p> Happy 2013!</p> <p> P.s. Enjoy the randomness of what the glamorous l...</p> Job Search Follow-Up Brian Henry 2012-10-07T15:28:00-04:00 >2017-08-22T08:46:03-04:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> It's been three months since <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">I accepted my full-time job</a> and while I've had time to sit down and write, I just haven't taken the time to do so (my apologies). However, I did want to go over my job search process and the things I've learned from it with the hope that It will prove to be useful information to others in similar situations.</p> <p> First off, I spent too much time on my portfolio. I think in academic settings (i.e. applications to grad school) your personal portfolio has a lot more weight than it does for an applicant looking for their first job as an intern architect. Let's be honest, most firms are looking for someone to produce drawings ... CAD drawings. Design plays a part, and having a portfolio that showcases your design sense is important, but ultimately I wasn&rsquo;t hired because of my portfolio.</p> <p> So why was I hired then? While I don&rsquo;t know the detailed answer to this question I was able to actually ask someone why I was hired over the other applicant that was on th...</p> This is a Working Title Brian Henry 2012-07-07T01:25:00-04:00 >2013-01-03T19:20:36-05:00 <p> <em>The title of this blog was really meant to be a placeholder until I came up with a better one but I think it "works"</em></p> <p> In my <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">last post</a> I promised news, and in the interest of not burying the lead, here we go...</p> <p> <strong>I got a job!</strong> And in other, related, news;<strong> I already had a job</strong>. If that's confusing at all, I understand, let me explain.</p> <p> Near the beginning of May I contacted two local firms about employment. One was my first pick but I really didn't have any information to know if they were hiring or were even busy with work. The other, I had talked to a former classmate who was working in the firm and he let me know that they were going to be fairly busy in the next couple of months and that I should bring in my resume and portfolio and talk to the principal because he may be hiring to help during the busy months this summer.</p> <p> So I wrote <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">cover letters, tailored my teaser portfolio</a> to appeal to each and walked in their respective front doors. The first firm, the one I had no networki...</p> ... News, Breaking Soon ... Brian Henry 2012-06-30T19:25:00-04:00 >2012-07-19T07:10:01-04:00 <p> I'd like to insert the word "Good" at the beginning of the title to this blog post, but I'd hate to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">jump the gun and look like an idiot</a>. However, saying that there will be news breaking soon on my job search can go either way, so I guess<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> I've learned something else about covering news</a> this past week. Either way, I'm really excited to hear back from a firm this coming week because their response will open a new door for me one way or another. Stay tuned for more details.</p> <p> In other preemptive news ... I'm as stunned as the rest of you that Andy Schleck has recovered from his injury sustained in the Dauphine and, against all odds, has been able to win the Tour de France outright ... <em>(I haven't had a chance to watch the Prologue so no spoilers please)</em></p> <p> <img alt="" src=""></p> <p> (<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> <p> P.s. I'll try not to 'pre'-type my next post in front a brick wall.</p> Portfolio A.ID [4] - Parenting Styles Brian Henry 2012-06-21T02:09:00-04:00 >2012-06-24T23:33:04-04:00 <p> My sister-in-law was staying in a hotel and was taking advantage of the hotel&rsquo;s gym to get some exercise. While she was running on the treadmill a little boy came in and began playing on the various pieces of equipment. Of course, there were signs up everywhere saying that children needed to be accompanied by and supervised by a parent when in the gym, but this little boy&rsquo;s parents were nowhere to be seen. My sister-in-law can be pretty easy-going when she wants to be and decided to ignore the annoying child and continue running. All was well until the little boy came up to her and asked her to get off the treadmill because he wanted to play on it. This was not ok. I forget exactly what she told the boy but I&rsquo;m sure he&rsquo;s still having nightmares about it now. The moral of this story &hellip; don&rsquo;t let your child run around misbehaving, because if you don&rsquo;t parent your child then someone else will. The same is true with paragraph styles in InDesign.</p> <p> Ok, it may not be true that someone el...</p> Portfolio A.ID [3] - Introduction to Paragraph Styles Brian Henry 2012-06-19T02:17:00-04:00 >2012-06-21T12:06:33-04:00 <p> Paragraph styles are something that I think a lot of beginning users of InDesign tend to overlook. It's not that they are hard to use or set up it's just that we normally don't deal with this type of feature for text in many of the programs we use. For example, how many of you pay attention to the styles portion of the ribbon in Microsoft Word? Probably not too many of you because you are just used to selecting text and changing the font, font size, color, etc. directly rather than taking the time to set up a style or use one that some programmers thought would be useful.</p> <p> I think in InDesign, when we start dealing with text, the tendency to just select and change what we wish to be different comes all too easily. Consequently, the idea of taking time to set up paragraph styles never really appeals to the beginning user because it's just easier to make whatever changes you need to on the fly. Yet, I'll make the argument that the idea behind paragraph styles isn't all that foreign...</p> As if I needed more urging to find a job Brian Henry 2012-06-14T01:45:00-04:00 >2012-06-17T13:35:59-04:00 <p> If you didn't know already, I work as a part-time projectionist at the local movie theater. It is an interesting job and I find working with film remarkably enjoyable. However, the times ... they are a-changin'. For the past little while the movie industry has been moving to digital and phasing out film. At the theater I work at we have eight screens and only two have been digital, probably out of necessity to play 3D movies more than anything. Soon though, they will stop making film copies of new releases altogether. Consequently, we have been busy the past little while getting new digital projectors set up and running. A couple of weeks ago, we moved from two digital projectors to four. As of this afternoon, we got one more set up and running. By Friday, we will be completely converted to digital. Since tonight's shift was my last one until Saturday, I just started the last film print of a movie I will ever start.&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> What this means for me is that soon the theater will no lon...</p> Finding Firms to Solicit - Do Something Brian Henry 2012-06-12T02:52:00-04:00 >2012-06-18T18:33:29-04:00 <p> I remember reading something recently (I can't seem to find it right now so you'll have to believe me on this stat) that said that the majority of entry-level positions in architecture are not advertised. Assuming my memory serves me well and this is indeed the case, then you might say that your best option for finding a job is just to ask for one rather than sitting around waiting for a job posting to show up on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect's job boards</a>.*&nbsp;</p> <p> It's only natural that you have a few firms that you already know about and are familiar with as the first ones you contact about work. But what do you do when all of them have turned you down? Where do you look to find new firms to solicit when there aren't any postings in the classifieds? The following are just a few things I've tried (or wanted to try) to find firms I didn't know about. There are probably plenty more options out there, hopefully some not so apparent, so please share what you know in the comments.</p> <p> <strong>Google</strong></p> <p> It's sort of a no...</p> Portfolio A.ID [2] - Dealing with Linked Files Brian Henry 2012-06-06T00:59:00-04:00 >2012-06-06T09:54:06-04:00 <p> This post on Portfolio A.ID (Adobe InDesign) was sparked by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chad Wulleman</a>, who left a comment on my last post. I hope this is in line with what he was suggesting but even if not, it's good information to know.</p> <p> If you're familiar with Photoshop you'll know that when you insert an image or something on a new layer it stays with that file. Essentially, the image's information is stored in the Photoshop file so if you take that file and open it on another computer the image is there and you can make all the changes you want to it.</p> <p> InDesign doesn't quite work the same way when you insert an image. InDesign links to the image's source file so any changes you make to that image will be reflected in your InDesign document. It might help to think of it in terms of an x-ref like you might be familiar with in AutoCAD.</p> <p> The problem that this can bring up is that if you move a file (either the InDesign document, or the image source file) to another location on your computer, or even bring...</p> Portfolio Design with Adobe InDesign - A Series [1] Brian Henry 2012-06-01T01:33:00-04:00 >2012-07-09T10:32:21-04:00 <p> Back in the good old days of grad school I was searching for some tutorials for rhino and I came across a series of posts on Archinect titled, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Elite Modeling School</a>, put up by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Harvard GSD school blogger</a> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bryan Boyer</a>. Two wonderful things happened because of this. One, I got some great tips and tricks to use in rhino, and two, I was introduced to Archinect. Thanks Bryan.</p> <p> I thought I could take that help and &ldquo;pay it forward&rdquo; to the Archinect community (and the Interwebs at large) and write my own series of posts on portfolio creation and layout using what I consider to be the best tool for the job, Adobe InDesign. If you&rsquo;ve been using Photoshop or even Illustrator to set up your portfolio you really are missing out on a lot. These programs are great for their intended purposes; simply put&hellip;photo editing and graphic design. Sure, you can do a lot more with them, but InDesign was created for page layout and you&rsquo;d be hard pressed to find an easier, more robust tool to get the job done....</p> Searching for the Holy Grail Brian Henry 2012-05-24T23:48:00-04:00 >2012-05-27T17:38:16-04:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> While there are a lot of parallels to draw between Indiana Jones' search for the Holy Grail and your job search, I thought I'd focus on the actual selection of the job / holy grail. This of course assumes that you've accurately deciphered all the clues and codes, made it past the Nazis who are trying to use your knowledge for their gain and / or kill you (unpaid internships anyone?), and you've made it to the final test. Here the metaphor breaks down a little; it would be better if you had a plethora of offers to choose from, and in reality this is probably not going to happen at this point, but bear with me.</p> <p> Indiana finds himself in front of a really old guy who dresses funny (yet he comments on how funny Indy is dressed as well, sounds a lot like the interviews I've had). The last of the holy knights explains that he has been vanquished and that Indiana (and Donovan too since he came in and submitted his resume for the job) must choose. In reality, this usually comes up aro...</p> Cover Letters and Cold Calls: We're Only Hurting Ourselves Brian Henry 2012-05-07T20:21:00-04:00 >2012-06-02T22:51:34-04:00 <p> I knew this before, but I'm realizing more and more that it really is all about who you know and how much effort you put into your initial contact with a firm. I had some time to waste today between a couple of meetings and I ventured over to my old stomping grounds to talk to a few members of this year's graduating class. They just presented their thesis projects last week so the studio was a little empty but there were still a few familiar faces that I was able to catch up with.</p> <p> Out of curiosity, and a little bitter jealousy, I asked about their job search; where they were looking, how much looking they've done, and if they had any offers or leads on potential openings.</p> <p> First of all, it seems like the majority of them are looking in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West (Washington, Idaho, and Utah mostly). According to the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">March ABI</a> this is the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">wrong place to start looking</a>, but despite this, many of them had potential leads and even some offers.</p> <p> When I talked to th...</p> Job Search Strategery Brian Henry 2012-02-16T02:33:00-05:00 >2013-02-06T01:22:48-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""><br> (<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">source</a>)</p> <p> With the design-build project that I&rsquo;ve been working on coming to a close and my portfolio off to the printer for a test print I thought I&rsquo;d write about something I&rsquo;ve been meaning to write about for a while now, <strong>job search strategery</strong>. As a disclaimer I&rsquo;ll say that I have no idea how well this works, or doesn&rsquo;t work. This is just my take on the job search strategies I&rsquo;ve run across on firm websites, blog posts, and archinect forums.<strong>*</strong> I&rsquo;ll explain myself briefly, but feel free to leave a comment or ask a question if you'd like clarification. Take note that this isn't everything in my strategy; I've got to keep at least one ace up my sleeve.</p> <p> First of all, I haven&rsquo;t got much to rely on in the way of networking so most of the time when I walk into a firm&rsquo;s offices it will be their first impression of me. It should also be noted that I&rsquo;m looking for work in a local economy that doesn&rsquo;t support many architecture firms so I won&rsquo;t get many chances to make good first impress...</p> I Just Had an Architecture Moment Brian Henry 2012-01-25T19:59:00-05:00 >2012-01-29T10:43:45-05:00 <p> At least according to this video (0:42). I'll have to recompose the post I was writing at another time.</p> Still Alive & Staying Busy Brian Henry 2011-12-08T19:00:43-05:00 >2011-12-08T19:01:28-05:00 <p> Archinect emailed me the other day. Apparently if you don't post on your blog for a month they get worried. Despite the flu that is doing its best to kill me slowly, I'm still alive.</p> <p> It's no excuse but I have been keeping myself fairly busy. While I haven't landed a full-time job, I do have work to do. I've <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">mentioned it before</a> but I have a part time job at the local movie theater (where everything seems to break down on my shifts taking time away that I can normally work on my portfolio) and I've been working on a small design-build project.</p> <p> While I have the time to elaborate I don't think I have the strength; that's reserved for battling the flu right now. So instead I'll just give you some photos I happen to have on hand of the project and a quick description.</p> <p> The project takes a carriage house, over a hundred years old, and converts it into a music studio for a local musician where he can practice and record his music. He isn't the first one to use it for something other ...</p> If these are the best firm websites, we're in trouble Brian Henry 2011-11-08T01:31:08-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> I caught a <a href="!/buildllc/status/133613121075032064" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tweet </a>linking to an article on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a> today and because of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">my recent post</a> I thought I'd share and critique: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ask the Jury: Which Architects Have the Best Web Sites?</a></p> <p> Personally, I think the jury got it all wrong ... well mostly. I liked what Enoch Sears had to say about knowing and targeting your audience, but I can't say I'm a huge fan of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Modative's site</a>, there is potential there, but they missed it on so many levels. You know you're in for a treat when they start off with this line, <em>"Welcome to the easy-to-use Modative website."</em> You shouldn't really have to convince your clients that your site is easy-to-use, it just should be (period).</p> <p> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rachoff Vella</a> hits a nerve with the splash page that leaves you wondering if you are supposed to do anything ... you are. Anytime you see a splash page, hit the back button. If you do happen to click through, the all-caps and the completely different look for the projects page is enough to make me wonder if the juror even ...</p> Taking a break Brian Henry 2011-10-19T02:46:05-04:00 >2011-10-25T01:00:16-04:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> I'm sitting at work right now (I'm a part time projectionist at a local movie theater) where I should be working on my portfolio. The big hang up is my master's thesis. I just can't figure out a way to show it that makes me happy. I'm sure I'll figure it out but rather than hitting my head against the keyboard I'm taking a break.</p> <p> It's times like these that I'm glad I'm passionate about architecture and design because even though I'm really frustrated and feel like giving up, I know that I'd never let myself do that. I'm also glad that I have other avenues for exploring my passion. I'm currently working on a small project with a fellow graduate, Andrew Carman. I'll be posting more about the project at some point but I really wanted to point you to an article Andy wrote recently&nbsp; that deals with a few of his passions (also the subject of his thesis project):</p> <p> <em>"Being a newcomer to the study of architecture and urbanism, it was only relatively recently that I first heard someone...</em></p> Online Presence Brian Henry 2011-10-18T01:48:13-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> I've been seeing a lot of recommendations recently about having some sort of online presence when you go job hunting. It ranges from simply creating a LinkedIn profile to having a complete website at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>. Given that there are so many ways to locate, contact, and put yourself out there for potential employers, I wonder if there is any sort of general standard or expectation regarding an online presence for today's job seekers. I think there is a benefit, but it is going to depend on your circumstances and your level of activity in the <em>job-search-o-sphere</em>.</p> <p> <strong>The Casual Seeker</strong>: You are someone who most likely has employment but is looking for something better. You are content to stay where you are, but you might prefer a change of pace. I'd recommend getting involved in social sites where you can be heard. The point isn't to be actively begging for a job but rather to get your face and name out there and make some connections with people who might be willing to ...</p> Portfolio Design - Quick Update Brian Henry 2011-10-11T02:29:41-04:00 >2011-10-25T01:01:45-04:00 <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> I keep trying to come up with something interesting to post with this but nothing is coming out right. Regardless, I wanted to put up a few pages of my portfolio in progress and maybe get some feedback, advice, words of encouragement, etc. These are just some select pages, all from my undergraduate work. I'm showing the spread as a whole so imagine the binding down the middle, or two letter-size sheets next to each other.</p> <p> Good night</p> Portfolio Design - Lessons Learned Brian Henry 2011-09-29T02:06:30-04:00 >2011-11-11T05:13:51-05:00 <img alt="" src="" title=""><p> My portfolio hasn't seen very many changes over the years. The smaller, landscape oriented one was my first ever that I submitted with my application for the third year of the U of I architecture program. The one pictured next to it was one that I submitted during my fourth year for a scholarship application. There have been other versions of these same with updated projects and then a few spin-offs of these basic layouts for different portfolios for class projects, etc. At the time I finished these I thought they were manifestations of years of school, weeks (maybe months) of all-nighters and caffeine benders, and hours revising and proofreading until they were nearly flawless. I look at them now and I see a lot of pros and cons and lessons learned.</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> <p> This first portfolio taught me a lot about using Adobe InDesign, in my opinion, an absolute must for digital portfolio design. I had started the layout in Photoshop, but quickly changed to InDesign thanks to the suggestion of one...</p> Hello Archinect, nice to meet you Brian Henry 2011-09-26T20:04:28-04:00 >2011-10-18T02:19:31-04:00 <p> I graduated earlier this year and instead of listening to the advice of <strong>everyone</strong>, I didn't land myself a job right away. Instead, my wife and I moved into a new apartment, I did some random construction jobs here and there, took on (and am still working to complete) a small design-build project, and worked part time at the local movie theater as a projectionist among other things.</p> <p> It's not that I haven't done any looking, I submitted a few applications on-line, even interviewed with a Seattle-based firm before graduation. I just never did any <strong>serious looking</strong>. I never followed up with the online applications, I briefly followed up with the interview, but I also knew that for the time being my wife and I would be staying in Pullman, WA, as she had found a great opportunity to work at WSU. So to say that any of those attempts were half-hearted at best, would be quite generous.</p> <p> In the end it all comes down to this; despite having time to update my portfolio, get out and find a job...</p>