The Survival Guide to Architectural Internship and Career Development

By Melnik, Jan | Career Planning and Adult Development Journal, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview
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The Survival Guide to Architectural Internship and Career Development


Melnik, Jan, Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


The Survival Guide to Architectural Internship and Career Development, by Grace H. Kim 2006. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 272 pages. $50.00, Softcover

Intended Audience(s): A, B, C, E, F, G, H

Major Headings from the Table of Contents:

Finding the Right Firm for You; The Job Search; Intern Development Program; The Architect Registration Exam; Professional Practice & Development; How Do Others Get Through This; Mentorship; Choosing the Non traditional Path; Working Abroad; Starting Your Own Firm

How Is the Book Most Useful for Its Intended Audience?

This book is designed to help architectural majors as they prepare for their internship experiences following completion of their undergraduate education.

The Top Five Things You Learned from Reading this Book:

One of the best strategies shared in this book is log your hours as you go -reflective of what must be done to document internship time during the course of three or more years.

Excellent advice on preparing industry-specific job search documents

Numerous suggestions on nontraditional career paths

Anecdotes from experienced professionals in the architecture field

Salary, job outlook, and credentialing information

Architect Grace Kim uncovers the best strategies for new architectural program graduates in The Survival Guide to Architectural Internship and Career Development. Why survival strategies? After completing a rigorous four-year baccalaureate degree program, architectural program graduates must then complete a minimum of three intensive years of work as interns.

This guide details numerous tools and forums for interns to help them navigate the process, including dozens of useful checklists and charts (helping interns decide the type and scope of projects in which they are most interested, the direction and focus of their search, the type of firm best suited to their skills and interests, and the right city in which to locate). Kim also intersperses many select tips throughout the book, designed to impart quick value to the reader (i.e., for architectural interns interested in working abroad, they are advised to learn the metric system, as well as obtain a bilingual dictionary of technical terms specific to architecture and engineering).

New architectural interns will find information about the importance of ethics to their practice and read numerous anecdotal accounts from interns and architects nationwide. Kirn's guide details a road map for securing internships as well as career planning (reminding prospective interns of the importance of securing internships with architects licensed in the state in which the intern is working). She details excellent tips for preparing for performance evaluations and using this material in sound career development.

With detailed advice regarding resume preparation specific to the architectural field, new graduates and interns will learn how to present themselves in the most marketable light. They will also understand the importance and value of cultivating mentors, which, as Kim explains, can have a profound impact on career development throughout your professional life, not just during internship.

Also of interest is the relatively current (2002) nationwide salary information presented on a regionalized basis. This is supported through excellent strategies in negotiating compensation. A very helpful worksheet to be used in comparing compensation packages is also provided (after all, compensation is more than just an annual salary).

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