A-level subjects studied and why you chose those subjects:

For my A Levels I studied ICT, Maths and Home Economics. Based upon the University entry requirements for Architecture, I needed Maths and ICT. I was always quite good at HE so decided to carry it right through to A-level and if I was going to be a University student, I needed to know how to cook!

What University you attended and the reason why you chose that university:

I attended Ulster University, Belfast School of Art for a long 6 years whilst completing both my Undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Architecture. Ulster University Architecture course was an Arts based Degree as opposed to being scientifically based and the coursework was mainly project based with a minimum amount of written examination. This appealed to me particularly as written examinations were never my strong point. The course was not easy going! Being project based it required a lot of imagination and hard work to actually convert design ideas into practical solutions and to satisfy the tutors who were constantly challenging us to come up with new and exciting ideas. Not having studied art, was maybe a slight disadvantage which meant that I had to learn presentation skills on the job and try to compete with people who already had an artistic flare, but I got through without it and did as well as the people who had it!

Job/Jobs since graduation:

After my Undergraduate Degree I had to complete a ‘year out’ working in an Architecture Practice in Belfast, White Ink Architects. This was a shock to the system, and it took me a couple of months to adjust to the real world of work. Nothing can prepare you! It was a hard few months to settle in and find my feet and I had to learn a lot very quickly, but my employers were a great support and provided me with help and shared their knowledge.

I completed my Masters degree just this Summer 2016 and this was the time I really had to grow up. I was no longer a student and it was time to get a real job! After taking a long break after finishing University (highly recommended, you will need it!) I secured a job in WDR & RT Taggart in September and it is going well. A lot of new skills and things to learn, but being a bit older, it is not as daunting as my first work experience. This is the beginning of my architectural career and I have applied to complete my Part III in the coming year which will allow me to finally be able to call myself an Architect (watch this space!)

Jillian Reid