What to do AFTER Architecture School (Advice for Graduates)

What to do AFTER Architecture School (Advice for Graduates)

November 20, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


It’s just, not knowing what’s next after graduation. Being 21…22 and not having – I mean – sometimes
it’s good not to have a plan. 22 years ago, Maleick’s parents were celebrating
his birth and I was where he is now, about to graduate architecture school. I’m a big dreamer and I’m a big thinker,
like, I just don’t want to be average, you know? I don’t and I really don’t want to get stuck
in the wheel like everybody else. His words, were mine. We don’t have to do what we used to do to
make a living and be happy. His anxieties, his dreams, all mine. And maybe, they’re yours too. I get so many questions this time of year
as students are graduating and planning to head into professional practice or to grad
school in a few months all asking what they can do to prepare. And, of course, I want to help. But, rather than tell you what I’ve done and
what’s worked for me, what kind of portfolio you should make, or how to ace a job interview,
I wanted to offer a different perspective. The profession I stepped into 22 years ago
no longer exists and I hope you find this notion liberating. The practice of architecture today is anything
you choose. Your job as a graduate is to figure out what
you want that to look like. You decide who it involves, how many or few,
whether it’s macro or micro, virtual or real, whether you educate, or build, or farm, whether
you’re an author, design products, or offer services, or both. Seek out the voids your work can fill. What’s missing? Although I’m slightly jealous that I’m not
22 with a chance to try it all over again, I know exactly what you’re feeling. I started my business just a few years ago,
stepping out on your own is uncertain. But, it forces you to optimize for results
rather than perfection. People have to buy what you’re selling and
that also means that they may choose not to and that’s good too, in a different way. Listen more than you talk; people will tell
you what they want. Make it your work to meet that demand. List the tasks in your ideal day and make
time for those things each day. I borrowed ideas from other professions, other
businesses, entrepreneurs, photographers, filmmakers, marketers. I watched what they were doing and made my
own version by applying the skills of creativity were all taught in architecture school. Begin building your authority by publishing
your work and ideas online, start with a website and your Instagram. Show us your process, educate others, help
others. The work you do is the work you’ll get. So, start building the kind of work you want
to do – self-fund it if you have to. And, use it as a chance to connect with others
doing work you find interesting. It takes relentless drive to design a future
that works for you and you don’t have to wait until graduation day to turn your side hustle
into your full-time gig you can start now. Good luck to you Maleick, and all of you facing
uncertainty, embrace it and dig in, that’s where all the magic happens. Smash that like button below and tell me in
the comments: how can I help? We’ll see you again next time, cheers my friends!