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Help with Employment / Starting Career in Architecture

blvck

Hi, I'm a 23 year old graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from an international, NAAB accreditted institution. 

I have a decent resume and portfolio, I've done a couple of internships throughout school so I'm experienced with all design phases of a project from pre-schematic design all the way to construction documents. The reason why I'm writing here is because I moved to the United States 11 months ago in the hopes of starting a career in architecture, however, that is yet to happen. I've applied to 600+ job postings across the country since December 2019 but I've only landed 4 or 5 interviews so far with the last one being in February 2020.

I'm writing to ask for advice, insight or any help I could get that would be beneficial to me because I've been struggling ever since I moved here and I can't seem to find any luck when it comes to landing an entry-level job. I've also inquired about internships but that didn't work either. I'm currently located in Fort Worth, Texas but I don't mind relocating. Your thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

 
Aug 3, 20 8:07 pm
natematt

Considering you started well before the pandemic, it seems like you are doing something wrong.... From what I gathered Texas was a pretty hot market before all this, so it's surprising you have had such a hard time... 

600 applications is a lot, are you applying to actual openings, or just cold applications to random firms? 

What does decent look like? That's not a very convincing opinion of your own work. 

How would you consider your communication skills? 

Aug 3, 20 8:41 pm  · 
 · 
poop876

Yeah, seriously... If I got your application yesterday I would have had you working today! Something must me off! Are you asking for relocation fees to paid? 

Aug 3, 20 9:12 pm  · 
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sp429

Where are you located? If you required sponsorship, I've noticed that firms would pass up candidates for those who do not require firm sponsorship. It's been difficult for foreigners here in NYC to find a job / switch jobs even pre-COVID times, due to the sponsorship issue. 

Aug 4, 20 11:51 am  · 
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flatroof

"Bachelor of Architecture degree from an international, NAAB accreditted institution."

Check here https://www.naab.org/international/international-certification/

No school outside US/Canada is NAAB accredited. International certification is NOT accreditation.  This means you do not have an accredited degree for jobs, which is probably the problem along with your visa requirement. You will need an accredited M.Arch degree from a US or Canadian school.

Aug 4, 20 12:06 pm  · 
3  ·  2
blvck

What do you think is it that I'm doing wrong? They are not cold applications, but genuine ones for open positions. Most times I don't even get a reply back.

My communication skills are pretty solid. I speak 3 langauges fluently and I'm an excellent communicator.

I'm not asking for relocation fees, when I'm asked about salary expectations I'm super flexible and would go for the minimum really. Sometimes I'm not asking for remuneration at all. I just want to work.

I don't need sponsorship, I'm a resident here but I went to school overseas because I had family there.

My degree is definitely NAAB Accredited. An official NAAB team visited my school multiple times to evaluate us before granting us full accreditation. The link you sent is something completely different. Follow this link, scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll find that there are three accredited programs (one of them is mine) and two others  re still under candidacy: https://www.naab.org/wp-content/uploads/Accredited-NAAB-Programs-051920.pdf. Having a NAAB accredited degree that is one of only three internationally accredited programs is pretty big if you ask me.

Aug 4, 20 8:58 pm  · 
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natematt

The university is probably not really going to help or hurt you one way or another on it's own...  Doubt that is it. 

You're from here, and your writing seems alright... so i'll take you at your word on communication.... Kinda doubt that's it... 

If the applications are to openings, then I would have to ask, are you applying mostly locally, or also at a distance? Even if you're not asking for relocation support, it's often not seen as a positive if you have to relocate, and remote interview, or travel for interviews were often not desired, especially at an entry level, they would just search local. Something to consider. It seems like enough questions that it's safe to presume plenty have been near where you live, and the range of firms in size and type are diverse... correct me if that is wrong.... so that brings me to what seems like the obvious answer.... 

Your portfolio and resume are not as good as you claim/think, or there is something seriously wrong somewhere in there that turns companies off.... 

... or maybe you just have shit luck... If you said you started 3 months ago it would make sense, but back in 19 and early 20, it seems like it should have gone better.... 

Aug 4, 20 10:28 pm  · 
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blvck

Would you like to take a look at my resume and portfolio? If so, please provide an email for me to send them to.

 · 
natematt

I would be willing to, I sent you a message though the contact feature on here.

 · 
Jay1122

First of all, I just want to say architecture is a rather competitive field. Entry level position in architecture is even more competitive. There are many B.arch students graduating from school every year, not all of them can land in the field. There are also students with different undergrad and then went for M.arch degree. There are also B.arch with another master of arch from ivy league other other fancy schools gunning for the same entry position.There are international students with U.S. M.arch degrees that also wants to set foot in US. These are just emerging candidates out of school. You also have people with 1-3 years experience gunning for your applying position because they don't like the current position,laid off, or relocated. And a lot of time employers favor those with existing experience, because they know how to draft and do CDs.

It gets a lot better when you get to intermediate and senior positions, unless you are aiming for starchitect offices, you can land in some regular office doing vernacular projects fairly easily. The reason? Most of those dreamers from school realized the low pay, long hours, and repetitive mundane tasks are not rewarding at all like they had dreamed of being the "Architect". Even if you made it to starchitect offices as entry level, the chances of you doing important design/detail is very very unlikely because it is mostly done by the principal/partner/design director. What you will do is mostly small tasks that keeps changing because your labor is cheap and their ego is big, they will work you like a tool with overtime until you burn out. You may spend a month just doing models or Photoshop people to renderings or stair details. 

Anyway, just to give people and future students a dose of reality of the  field. And the time is also tough right now. All you can do is improve your self. Make sure to obtain actual program skills that makes you ready to produce CDs. Only Starchitect/ big design firms care about fancy studio projects and graphic presentations, and most of the time those firms will pick ivy league M.arch grads because they work hard, have nice portfolio, and cheap too. 40K+ salary for someone spent 7 years in Arch school and possibly massively in debt, why not?


Aug 5, 20 10:02 am  · 
1  · 
The_Crow

I think you need to share your portfolio if you want an honest critique/understanding why you are not being hired. 

I also would recommend against the "I'll move anywhere" for work approach. Architecture firms are actually quite conservative in this regard, and are very reluctant to hire new employees from afar. This is especially true of newly graduated students. Their opinion is most often, move here on your own and then let's talk. 

I'm very familiar with the Texas market, and am skeptical you wouldn't be hired in it prior Covid. The work may not have been sexy, but I was seeing most schools in Texas having 100% placement of newly graduated students. 

Aug 5, 20 10:44 am  · 
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archeyarch

they're now firing

Aug 6, 20 12:41 am  · 
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