Your best first job

Hey all,

I'm a current three-year masters student in architecture. It's a career shift for me and I'm working as an intern this summer. I'm discovering how specialized firms can be and how much the skills you develop can shape the trajectory of your next opportunities.

I'd like to know what some of your best first jobs were and how they put you on a path that opened doors in your personal and professional life. I'm curious about both expected or unexpected factors, e.g; location, people you met, skills you developed, etc.

I'll be making my choice for first job soon. Looking to make it a good one! Thanks for your feedback

May 24, 19 11:04 am

In school, try to diversify your internships - even radically if possible. I went to one of the most remote towns on my continent, then to an extremely rural community, then to a major international city, and later two different countries (all for work positions). I did a similar trajectory for places to study. Your breadth of experience can become a valuable asset; and worse case scenario, its a good story to hash out over beers with coworkers.

May 24, 19 11:17 am

Thanks for the insight.


I only had one first job. I only had one best job. They weren't the same job.

May 24, 19 11:28 am

(non-sarcastic reply coming later)

Non Sequitur

first real job or first relevant job?

My first relevant job was in a one-man architecture office doing a whole bunch of small residential renovation projects and some commercial fit-up. I worked 2 or 3 half days per week while in undergrad, even during deadlines, and got to do all relevant parts of the projects from site measure, code review, CD, CM, deficiency reviews, etc... That freedom gave me one helluva head start on my colleagues in professional practice. 

May 24, 19 11:35 am

I'm open to thoughts on both. I ask for "first" simply because taking any position is an investment of probably at least a couple years, so it'd be nice to hit closer to the mark the first time. 

Thanks for your thoughts. My current firm is smallish and I love the exposure I have to the range of projects for that reason. Similar to your situation in that respect. Portfolio is a whole new and broad question to ponder.


Sometimes the worst jobs teach you more than the best jobs. 

May 24, 19 1:23 pm

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