Wentworth Institute

The Survival Guide to Architectural Internship & Career Development

[caption id="attachment_1294" align="aligncenter" width="700" caption="The Survival Guide to Architectural Internship and Career Development"][/caption] In 2006, I published a book…or more aptly, Wiley & Sons published a book I had written the year prior.  It is entitled The Survival Guide to Internship and Career Development.  At the time, I was in the throes of establishing our fledgling practice and balancing AIA National committee work with marriage and maintaining friendships back at home…the last thing on my mind was creating more travel opportunities with a book tour.  Nor was I as hip to the social media scene at the time to know how to tweet, blog, or crosspost articles to promote the book.  (Oh if I only knew then what I know now….)

As the economy ramped up into the frenzy we saw just a few years ago, I wondered if the text had lost relevance.  And with the short attention spans spawned by the internet and now the book being almost 6 years old, I questioned if people would feel it relevant enough to purchase.  So I’d gone down a road of complacency about promoting the book. 

Until…Just recently I was approached by AIA San Francisco to kick off their mentorship program, an annual program that is based on a group mentoring model that I initiated in Seattle 8 years ago and have presented at AIA conferences around the country.  It was also a mentoring model I highlighted in my book.  Well, it turns out that San Francisco is not the only chapter that used my model and book to develop mentoring practices for their chapter.  (I'm headed down to San Fran today to do a keynote for their meeting.)

And last month, I received this message via Linked In: 

Grace, We met briefly at an IDP Coordinators conference in Chicago where you were the keynote speaker. For the past 4 years I have run a mandatory IDP Registration course at Wentworth Institute in Boston. We register approximately 160 interns a year and coordinate the course with a cooperative work experience. The rest of the faculty has been trained using NCARB materials and under funding from an NCARB grant I purchased cases of your book to give to faculty as the standard for mentoring. I just wanted to say thank you for the book. Keep Smiling! Charlie

Indeed his email made me smile.  Huh…who knew?  Perhaps I should reconsider my apathy in blogging about the book...so here I am.

As the economy improves for architects (we’ve hit bottom now, haven’t we?) I do believe many of the topics have a renewed relevance…as well as many topics being age-old questions that interns have never known where to seek answers – the premise of the book was to document the “no duh” advice that a seasoned architect could provide…but without the embarrassment of having to ask the “dumb questions.”

And while many architects think, "oh, this book is just for interns"...the irony of writing this book is that it coincided with Mike and I establishing our firm (because that's when you have the most free time, right?).  So the last chapter is actually devoted on how to start a design firm, and it was quite literally written as we were setting up Schemata Workshop.  A pretty useful chapter for the non-intern, mid-career professional who has been laid of during the recession and trying to figure out how to make a go of it on their own.

If you are interested in getting your very own copy of the book you can search on amazon or better yet, follow this link.  http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0471692638.html

And if you already have a copy of the book and would like to share your comments, I would love to hear them!