Work experience for aspiring architects and architectural technologists is still on the drawing table

Work experience for aspiring architects and architectural technologists is still on the drawing table

23 Dec 2020

The limitations of lockdown have been tough for teenagers. But we’re determined that it doesn’t have to limit their ambitions. One of the ways we have always nurtured young talent, at Halliday Fraser Munro, is to offer secondary school students the chance to come and work in our offices.

The learning experience we designed for them was carefully structured to give them a real insight into life as a professional architect or architectural technologist and provide inspiring challenges for their design skills. The programme was always extremely popular with parents, teachers and school’s work experience coordinators seeking stimulating experiences for the young people in their charge.

Design someone else’s home from the comfort of your own.

We went to great lengths to ensure that our work during lockdown was very much business as usual and we were determined that our work experience offering should not be an exception. We had configured our systems to facilitate remote working some time ago, so when COVID struck, our architects were able to carry on working very much as normal. That also means we have been able develop our online technology to create our “Learning Zone” – an education resource which delivers a remote alternative for students looking to get work experience without having to leave their house.

A chance for everyone to explore their architectural talents.

Previously, our work experience places have been limited but now, due to the fact that we aren’t physically accommodating students in our offices, we are able to offer the virtual work experience to a much wider group. You don’t even have to be near to one of our offices to take part. 

The challenge is open to anyone but we have found that it is most popular with 15-17 year-olds. Our first online work experience challenge proved extremely popular with students participating right across the UK with some really impressive and imaginative results. The most inspired designs have been shared on social media and the programme generated a rewarding amount of positive feedback.

Inspiring young imaginations.

Using the learnings from our first virtual program, we have created a new, slightly more technical, challenge for aspiring architects.  This is designed to make the experience as stimulating and realistic as possible and it means that students who have already completed one of our earlier challenges, can return for further work experience. The goal is to develop design and spatial modelling skills and build an understanding of how to interpret the client’s brief.

All you’ll physically need to complete the tasks are pens, pencils and paper and access to a computer which can download Revit - a free design tool that will enhance your skills and help bring your ideas to life. But the most important things students will need to bring to the program, are a keen eye for detail and a great imagination.

We estimate the challenge will take around one week’s full-time work to complete so it’s a perfect distraction from the social limitations of lockdown through holidays.

The foundations of a career in architecture?

Traditionally work experience has been seen as a great way for students to enhance their appeal to colleges, universities and future employers. It also gives real insight into the type of organisation they might want to work with and get a feel for the career sector they want to work in. We have designed our new virtual program to help achieve all of these things and students who complete the challenge will emerge with tangible evidence of what they have learned.

If you, or someone you know, would enjoy work experience with Halliday Fraser Munro, you can apply for a place by visiting our website: