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Exposure to industry during your studies

Dan Wightman applied for and secured a ten-week summer internship with architectural firm Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt. Dan tells us about his internship experience and why he feels it was so valuable to his studies.

Dan Wightman portrait

"Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt work closely with the University of Reading School of Architecture, contributing to our module 'Industry Practice – The Business Context of Architecture', which focuses on bridging the gap between education and industry. As I had already worked with architects from the firm on my course – through lectures, construction site visits and a tour of their practice – I knew it would be the perfect place for an introduction to industry. 

"During my internship, I was able to develop both my architectural and professional skills, through working on exciting and varied projects. These projects included residential, mixed-use and office developments, and I worked on tasks such as model-making and 2D and 3D computer modelling. 

"One of my projects was to create a physical model of the Stamford Road Housing Scheme, which involved creating a file ready for laser printing using software including Vectorworks, Adobe Illustrator and SketchUp. I then used the laser cutter at the University to cut the files out, followed by a few days spent creating the model with a scalpel, model glue and a lot of patience. 

"Since returning to the University as a second-year student I can see how this internship is benefitting my studies. The hours spent making high-detail models and learning different ways of representing certain elements of structures has made model-making during my studies a lot more intuitive and easier to do. I've also become better at using CAD software to make 2D and 3D models after observing and learning from architects who were experienced in using this software. 

"I highly recommend undertaking an internship with an architecture practice. Working office hours on a day-to-day basis gave me valuable insight into how a practice is run, and the roles I might aspire to within a company. This experience has provided me with exposure to how the industry works, and has allowed me to develop my knowledge of the profession, my drawing and model-making skills, as well as building my professional network."

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