I have been searching recently for new opportunities with architecture firms, ie I am unemployed and looking for a job. I have always been taught to go after what you want, that the sky is the limit, etc, etc. Having this as a mantra, I have changed jobs in search of other experience to fulfill one goal or another. For example, I have changed jobs several times in order to get all of my IDP credits in order to become a registered Architect.
Another method is that in the workplace, I think a lot of interns just expect to get a chance to do everything. I have found that unless you specifically ask for more responsibility, a variation of work, or to do certain tasks, that you will not get them. You will end up doing the same thing, over and over. What do I say to that? Pffffffttttt!!!!! All you are doing is showing your passivity to your employers. Don't just take what you are given, ask for more! If you are lucky enough to be working at an architecture firm while pursuing a degree in Architecture, all the more reason to do this. If you ask for more, and if your employers see you not only juggling your professional work load and college work load, but then asking for more, they will respect you more and you will move up through the ranks faster. By the time you graduate, you will be several steps ahead of the people who have just been doing what they are given, really only doing the minimum.
While I was in college, I was lucky enough to work for a couple of architecture firms. I found a couple of guys who took me under their wing and mentored me. They taught me design, they taught me composition, they taught me detailing and construction documents. I was given the basics, and I asked for more. While working on my Masters Degree in Architecture, I was also doing the job of a Project Architect (without the title and stamping responsibilities of course). I had a conversation with a fellow student while in studio one day about what I was doing at work. When I told her that I was essentially doing an Architect's role, she flat out said there is no way that I was and accused my of fibbing. Lying, telling untruths, etc, etc....Well a month or two later, she actually joined the firm I was with, and came over during studio the next day to apologize for not believing me. Anyway, long story short, ask for responsibility. Demand responsibility. When I graduated from college, I had a professional portfolio to show along with my school work.
While interviewing at several firms recently, several of the architects were visibly surprised that I would take the responsibility of looking for experience, and change jobs to go after it.
Moral of the story, if you want the experience, more often than not, you have to ask for it. Talk to your colleagues, talk to you bosses. Regardless of your position, if you want more, you have to ask for it. This is a great indicator to bosses that you are an asset to them and that you are working hard to improve. Ask, Ask, Ask.....
I want to hear your stories and comments.