What Do I Need to Do to Finally Land a Job 3 Years After Architecture B.S.


Hello all,

I am a B.S. architecture graduate of three years ago. I applied to some firms post graduation, but I am from a small area and got offered only one unpaid internship, which I could not take due to financial responsibilities. I haven’t worked on anything architecture related since due to life circumstances. Since then I’ve had to work at various customer service jobs but couldn't find a way to pursue architecture.

I've finally found myself in circumstances that allow me to focus on trying to get into the field but I'm really uncertain what to do or where to go from here.

I haven’t touched any architecture related programs in the last few years. Two weeks ago I updated AutoCAD, Revit, and Sketchup on my computer and have been refreshing with tutorials.

I am working on updating my portfolio right now. I have a project I like from my 3rd year and a design build project from my final year that turned out beautifully.

My question is, What do I need to do to at least secure an internship at a firm. what should I be focusing on for a new portfolio? Are three good projects enough for a portfolio? I’ve thought about entering a design competition just so I’d have something new to show that had guidelines to work with.

I know my way around Revit and AutoCad. I also have Rhino on my computer. What else is common in firms that I should start to familiarize myself with?

Any and all other tips and suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.
I really want to do this but I'm unfortunately at a loss of how to go about it.

I'm in the Portland Oregon area if that changes anything.

Thank you!

May 26, 19 4:16 pm

Hello! It's such a tough field to be in these days, and being out of the architectural workforce may have an effect on your job search. 

If you really want to continue and delve back into Architecture I'd say stay positive, you're already on the right track, and updating your portfolio is a great step forward. Grad school is another option seeing as you have a BS as opposed to a BArch, but it's also a very expensive option. 

School projects in your portfolio are proof of your ability to think creatively, however, I recommend you try and get real projects on there as well. This could be done by taking up smaller freelance projects, drafting jobs...etc. You could update your skills by doing projects such as those, and get yourself refamiliarized with softwares such as Rhino and Revit as you've mentioned. Maybe call up some smaller firms in your area and see if you can offer your services part time. You could also try online courses to get up to speed on softwares and programs, and practice by reworking your past projects. Another option could be getting a start by working in construction
(which along with your design background) might help you later on as that experience would be valuable. 

You could also try going to architecture focused career fairs held by a university in the area, or attending talks, symposiums and meet ups related to the field in the area. The AIA tends to hold a few of these depending on where you are. The reason I suggest all this is because it gives u an opportunity to network and meet industry professionals who could help you down the line.

May 27, 19 4:33 am

Go, in person, to small architect offices near you and drop off your resume and portfolio and ask if you could check back by telephone in a few days. At least wear a sports coat and  tie when you go. Do not go to any firm big enough to have a dedicated personnel office. 

Jun 4, 19 8:27 am
Witty Banter

I'd suggest trying to make some contacts within your local AIA chapter.  My local chapter does not require AIA membership to join a committee (also called Knowledge Communities) or attend events (some are free).  Show up, make some contacts and network.  Don't ask for a job in your first conversation meeting someone but it's fine to explain your situation in conversation or introductions.  You'll be able to find out who is hiring through these contacts and if you make a decent impression your application is going to get a closer look.  FWIW I was two years out of school before landing my first Architecture gig for similar reasons.

Also three projects is fine if they're well developed and presented.  Keep developing your skills while you job hunt and take advantage of whatever opportunity you get.

Jun 4, 19 12:07 pm
atelier nobody

I got my first architecture job by opening the yellow pages (yes, it was that long ago) and cold calling firms starting at "A" - the firm I ended up at was in the "Ys".

Jun 4, 19 1:46 pm
I did the same as atelier nobody but using google, still beating myself up from time to time for not taking the Acconci job, too late now :-(

There is a Dutch office called AAArchitecten for the sole reason they would be at the top of anyone’s list looking for an architect, bastards.
Jun 5, 19 6:26 am
atelier nobody

Why do you think I call myself "atelier nobody"?


No clue, but they’ll call “atelier everybody” first ;)

atelier nobody

I didn't want to use atelier anybody, because I don't want clients thinking they can be the designer...


Haha whatever works...


Architecture BS - Yes thats what you did.

Jun 5, 19 5:08 pm

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