Sinead: “You grow so much more than if you were to just study…”

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23 year old Sinead Hay is currently undertaking a Level 7 Masters of Architecture and Professional Practice Degree Apprenticeship in her role at Portsmouth City Council.

Having enrolled on the four year course in September 2018, Sinead shares her apprenticeship journey so far…

Prior to starting an apprenticeship had you received any form of advice or guidance in relation to this?

“The information that was available on architectural apprenticeships was very limited purely as it was a very new scheme. I knew roughly how apprenticeships worked and found more information on the Institute for Apprenticeships website. However, the University of Portsmouth were also helpful in giving advice on how the process would work and potential employers who would be keen to employ an apprentice.”

Has your perception of the apprenticeship programme changed since undertaking this particular route?

“Yes it has. I always believed apprenticeships were for those straight out of school or college who wanted to go into more vocational jobs, not for those who wanted to go to university. I certainly never saw it as an option for me to fulfil my dreams of becoming an architect until recently. Now I wish they had of been around 4 years ago when I started university. It has given me the opportunity to apply the theory to the practical.”

Do you have any advice that you could share with others considering an apprenticeship?

“You grow so much more than if you were to just study get a qualification then go into the working world. It allows you to apply real life situations into the theoretical work and vice versa. Apprenticeships don’t just help you move forward in your career but give you the chance to build your confidence and develop as a person.”

If you can balance your time and are not afraid of hard work then do it!

How did you come by your initial apprenticeship opportunity?

“There had been whispers about the scheme for some time during my final year of my undergrad degree. However, just after the final hand-in I was invited to a presentation about apprenticeships in architecture. During this the university mentioned Portsmouth City Council were considering taking on apprentices even though the training program was yet to be signed off by the Government. After this I started checking Portsmouth website regularly in the hope the role would appear.”

What does an average day for you consist of?

“Every day is different. I can go from working on floor plans one day to being on site seeing a building being realised the next. I am given every opportunity to learn and develop skills and increase my knowledge base. I also get the chance to shadow senior architects in meetings and site visits to see how they may deal with issues and certain situations with clients and contractors.”

What’s next?

“Hopefully in 3 years I will be a qualified Architect. After that I would quite like to stay at Portsmouth City Council and continue to work on projects that have an impact on the local community and people’s lives.”

And finally and maybe most importantly, what is your favourite aspect of the role?

“My favourite thing about my job is the feeling I get seeing my work being realised. To see something being brought to life that you have spent hours designing is always exciting.  But also knowing that my work helps people in some form too. I am lucky enough to work on a range of projects from educational to assisted living, each of these projects have a positive impact within people’s lives as well as the local community. I really enjoy being able to help people in this way.”