At Reading, the mentoring programme is coordinated by the School of Architecture’s very own Professional Studies Advisor (PSA), Sarah Ernst, in partnership with RIBA Berkshire, who ensures students receive the support they need throughout the entire programme. The aim is also to align each student with an area in which they are interested. This is something from which Maria benefitted.
“My interests are in the humanitarian sector and how we work and design alongside communities. This is an area that I’m also doing my dissertation in. Alongside another student, I was provided a mentor who works as a Director for WR-AP. As well as this I also spoke with a Part 1 Architectural Assistant that works at WR-AP, who had similar interests to me when they were in my position.”
Matched with a mentor, motivated by similar passions and skills, Maria was able to make productive use of their time together.
“I was able to find out more about day-to-day life in industry such as how crits [reviews] are done and what it’s like going on-site. I also saw documentation for the entire process of work for one of their buildings and the RIBA plan of work, and how much detail there was. They were also able to offer guidance with CVs, portfolios, and the interview process for Architectural Assistants.”
Following completion of the Scheme, Maria has kept in contact with her mentor who continues to provide guidance and support.