The diversified architectural experience is a prerequisite of the government (PRC) before one can take the board exams. You need to work UNDER a registered architect for 3000 hours.
Good thing they scrapped the policy that one should get his apprenticeship after graduation. So the incoming fourth year architecture student that I am, I readily searched for a firm that could fill my would-be-idle summer vacation.
Yes. I took this OJT (on-the-job training) out of boredom.
I expected my summer to be dull. (minus the hi-hos from the Vision Magazine)
So I did what I did. Together with my colleagues, Ann and Kim, we went to apply to the largest architecture firm in the country (or maybe even in SEA).
We had contacts inside the firm. Firstly, one of the employees of the firm was an immediate former EIC of the Vision Magazine, kuya Patrick. (though the principal architect of the firm was also a former editor of the magazine) Secondly, we already have been to the firm. (we interviewed Arch. Hans for one of our courses in school), so we basically breezed through the “interview”. (I am not considering that a lot of the employees there came from my school)
Ok, so the last few sentences were all but assumptions.
I started working late-March. And it ended just yesterday, May 12.
The whole experience was rather fun, meaningful, inspiring, though NOT fulfilling. I learned a lot. (not a lot on architecture, but still learned A LOT)
Working for a big firm has its perks and downsides. A good thing is, you are exposed to an array of projects, ranging from residential to masterplanning. But then again, it’s useless if you are just exposed. No hands-on work here.
Another good thing is that I met a lot of interesting people, and by interesting I mean INTERESTING. The individuals in the firm are quite a bunch. 80++ people in the office, boy, it is BIG. It’s like a zoo (sorry for the odd comparison) because of the diversity. From the bell ringing Ma’am Chona and the funny Miss Maricon to the very inquisitive Sir Nappy and giggly ate Iris. OK, they were all fun. (but some have their grumpy days)
And then there is Boss, a very inspiring man. No wonder he leads this very big firm, he can talk, motivate everyone.
It was a pleasure working with (for) them.