Charlotte Earnshaw Stage 3 – Work Experience Week

Charlotte has just undertaken a week of work experience at a local architecture practice in Hythe. The placement was offered to Charlotte after enrolling on the RIBA South-East mentoring scheme which is offered to Stage 3 Kent School of Architecture students.

Work Experience – Charlotte Earnshaw


I began the week by working on the same school scheme that I had  been involved with on my previous visit to the practice to see the mentor I have been paired with on the student mentoring scheme. It was interesting to see how the  scheme had developed and I was quite pleased that the areas I had been part of  developing were working well within the overall scheme. Instead of developing  the school further, I was given the task of planning out a small area of the  site which was originally a school car park and playground space- the proposed  area is due to become a housing estate of 15 units. I drew up the sketch scheme  in CAD, a similar task to the one I did during my first visit.  This task took several hours as various  factors needed to be resolved.

Later in the week I moved onto a  different housing project and took part in amending plans and elevation  drawings, this project was due to meet a deadline on Friday so it was  imperative that I worked efficiently and made use of the time wisely so that I  was not hindering the development of the scheme by being slow. I feel that this  experience was very important and I was able to put into context the importance  of design flare accompanied by efficiency and ability to clearly and  effectively communicate to other team members. I had been fortunate to work with  a part 1 student in her year in industry during this design process which was  helpful and I gained many useful tips during this process. I also used my  knowledge of Photoshop and other display software to help layout sheets to be  viewed at a large scale as presentation devices.

Large meetings were held throughout the  week about the 2 projects I had been working with and further developments were  made to both schemes, it was interesting to see the number of people required  to be part of the process as I had not anticipated the importance of large  meetings such as the ones held in these situations and have gained further  understanding of the implication of time and money towards large scale  developments of residential and educational developments.

In addition to the design work, I  participated in mass tea/coffee making and A1 paper folding, both of which I  am incredibly talented at!

By the end of the week I was feeling part of the team and  was glad I had participated in a full week of mentoring rather than one  singular day as it gave me a fuller insight into the general process of  development. I am looking forward to a site visit on my third visit and am  hoping to the see the school developments later in the year.

RIBA Student Mentoring Scheme

Stage 3 – Student Mentoring Scheme

Due to its success in previous years, we will again be taking part in the RIBA mentoring scheme. The scheme is offered to third year undergraduates to support them during their studies and to help prepare them and provide guidance for their forthcoming year out.

The first meeting between the mentors and the students is due to take place mid-November, with continued contact throughout the academic year. The mentors are usually RIBA Chartered Architects with a wealth of experience in practice around the UK and/or abroad. The role of the mentor is to provide the students with an insight into the business of architecture and the experience of practice (for example site visits). Mentors may also help with advice on issues such as portfolio presentation, interview techniques, CV writing and presentation techniques to name a few.

We have had continued positive feedback from our students that have been involved with the scheme in the past. Many have commented on how the scheme provides invaluable advice for architecture students in their final year who are preparing for their year out. The site visits have been highlighted as being particularly useful for seeing a project develop through its various stages.