Laura Birkett

BSc (Hons) Architecture (2013), MA Architecture (2015)

Dreaming of a career as an architect since she was a young child, Laura Birkett enrolled on the BA (Hons) Architecture course after carefully choosing relevant subjects in college. Despite a tough start to university life, Laura stuck at it and decided to use the following summer to gain work experience, something she stresses every student should go out and do.

Laura said: “I would advise keeping your head down at university and filling holidays with work experience. It will help mould you into using professional practices, which you can apply to university work making you more efficient. It may also help you walk into a job at the end of your course as you will have contacts in the industry.”

From there, the Lancashire student took lessons and gained confidence from her work experience and her grades improved, eventually graduating with a 2:1. Then, after continuing her studies for a further two years, Birkett completed her Masters in Architecture in 2015.

After graduating, Laura landed a role at Gilling Dod as an Architects Assistant. She said: “I was able to do a bit of everything from technical modelling and drawing, to visual impressions, site visits, planning committee meetings, public consultation meetings, building regulation drawings and reprographics. It was a very creative position and I was always frantically busy.”

Now, Lauren works as a Graduate Trainee for one of the UK's leading residential housing developers, Redrow, and cites her time at UCLan as a huge reason for her success. She said: “The journey I’ve been on through University and work have helped to shape who I am today.” Lauren also offers some words of encouragement to all students, saying: “I would advise anyone studying at University to go to the careers fairs and speak to all the companies there to see what they have to offer. You won’t know unless you ask.”