What do I do?
I am currently on a placement year at David Granger Design, having completed two years studying architectural technology at the University of Derby. When my placement ends in the summer, I will return to university to complete the final year of my course. Module leaders and senior students all highly recommended taking a placement year, and around 80% of the students on my course took the opportunity, intending to develop knowledge and gain experience.
How did I discover David Granger Design?
I spent two weeks with them on work experience during the summer of 2017. I found and researched them online, and they seemed like the ideal company for me to work for. I got along well within these two weeks; each member of the team was friendly, and they were happy to help me with anything if I was struggling. When they made me an offer to rejoin them to complete a placement the following year, I felt I couldn’t refuse and looked forward to it.
What’s involved in my role at David Granger Design?
During my placement, I have been introduced to as many elements within the role of an Architectural Technologist as possible. I have worked with both the design and technical teams, and I’ve been involved in each stage of the design process, from going on surveys and drawing existing details, through to working on designs for clients and helping to complete production drawings.
I have been working within the technical side of the office recently, often accompanying a colleague on surveys for a wide variety of different properties and structures. I’m usually then tasked with drawing up a detailed and accurate set of existing details.
What have I learned?
Being given such a variety of projects and tasks has provided me with experience in many different areas. As well as industry-based skills and knowledge, I have also developed general and transferable skills such as time management, organisation and problem-solving. I’ve learned so much from the placement and thoroughly enjoyed finding out what it’s like to work in the ‘real world’ as an architectural technologist. It has helped me to confirm that this is what I want to do once I have graduated.
What is the most exciting change you’ve seen in the industry?
The advancement in CAD software and its ever-increasing applications is an exciting prospect that can only aid the industry. The quality of 3D visuals is always improving, and that helps the client visualise their plans. In the next few years, it will be interesting to see if augmented or virtual reality can be integrated into the construction industry which could allow for even further interaction between the client and their visions.
My overall experience
Everybody told me before I started that you learn more in the first few months of a placement year than you do during the first few years at university, and it’s true. Of course, the university side of it is still essential and taught me a lot, but completing projects for actual clients and having colleagues with a lot more experience, who are willing to offer guidance and advice is what has aided my progression the most. I wholeheartedly recommend a placement year to a student considering one.