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Words by Christian Grennan from Kreis Grennan Architecture

Why did you choose architecture as a career?

I wasn’t one of those people who definitely knew what I wanted to do at 18 years of age. Many of my most interesting friends still don’t know what they want to do and they are closer to retirement than to starting their first career.

I enjoyed making things, working with my hands, problem solving and was reasonably good academically. My family were always building houses or renovating. My brother was a builder and I worked for him occasionally so I had a vague idea of what architects do so I thought that being and architect could make sense and I could be out in the world and not always be stuck behind a desk. In retrospect I have since spent a lot of interesting hours behind a desk and a few less ‘out in the world’.

Where was your first architecture job?

My first architecture Job was with Hassell in the Sydney Studio as a student. I took half year off after three years of study to get a more experience. It was a great experience, and they were very generous. I worked really long hours as I desperately wanted to learn. As a consequence, I was allowed to work on some really interesting projects, and it was a massive benefit when finishing my study and getting work later.

Best piece of advice you could give to job seekers who are currently looking / applying for roles?

For recent graduates make sure you have some work experience not just study. Working anywhere is better than nothing. Always try to work for people you respect. Don’t tell people you think they are amazing and you have been following them for years and then turn up for an interview and not know anything about them. Be yourself, be honest and put your best foot forward.

The biggest mistake applicants make with their job applications?

Your portfolio must look great. If you can’t present your work well, how do you expect to re-present your employer well.