by Josh Kindred

As a recent college graduate with a degree in architecture, when I started my first "real” job at MSB Architects I was excited, albeit a bit apprehensive. Did I know enough? Could I learn quickly enough? Would I make the cut? Despite my education and variety of hands-on experience in an architecture studio, when I landed in the real world, I found I was severely lacking practical knowledge in a variety of areas. I have come to learn that this is completely normal; no recent graduate really knows anything practical about architecture.

During these first few months of working here, I have been learning a lot about how buildings actually go together and how to be more proficient in Revit, the architectural computer program we use. I still feel a bit in over my head, especially when observing the proficiency with which the rest of the MSB team can accomplish their tasks. Working at a firm is nothing like being in school. At school, I worked on a single assignment from start to finish, putting in as many hours as I wanted before the deadline. If I wanted to spend entire days (and nights) perfecting some aspect of my project, no problem. Except for my deadline, time wasn’t a factor and I was only accountable to myself. That’s not the way it works in the real world. First off, there’s more than just one project in play, and those projects are all at different stages. I needed to learn how to shift from one to the other and hit the ground running. Secondly, you don’t have any time to fiddle about. It’s a fast-paced environment and strong time management skills are critical—a skill set which I am still developing.

Working at MSB has already exposed me to many aspects of architecture, and yet I have barely scratched the surface; there is just so much more to learn! But every step of the way, as I’ve been introduced to new things, my colleagues have been there to mentor me. No two days are quite the same, and it’s been great to be in such a tightly-knit and supportive environment. Each day I am learning something new and moving closer to eventually becoming a licensed architect.

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