Architecture graduate Laura Hamilton tells us about her experience
University of Central Lancashire Architecture graduate, Laura Hamilton, has fulfilled her childhood dream by becoming an Assistant Designer for Redrow Homes.
From a young age, Laura wanted to design homes and whilst at school and college she studied architecture in art at any opportunity. Laura continued with her interest throughout Higher Education and subsequently enrolled at the University of Central Lancashire on the BSc (Hons) Architecture course within the School of Engineering.
Despite finding her first year of university hard, Laura persevered and decided to use the summer break to gain work experience within the architectural department of the company where her Dad worked. Laura gained confidence from this experience, which helped make a positive difference to the rest of her studies.
Laura graduated from her undergraduate degree in 2013 and decided to continue onto postgraduate level, completing her MA Architecture in 2015. During her master’s course, Laura gained further work experience at local practice, Bramley Pate and Partners.
After graduating from her master’s course, Laura landed a job as an Architects Assistant at Gilling Dod Architects, specialising in healthcare design. The role allowed Laura to do a bit of everything, including; technical modelling and drawing, visual impressions, site visits, planning committee meetings, public consultation meetings, building regulation drawings and reprographics.
Two years later, in pursuit of career progression and her dream to design houses, Laura went on to secure one of 14 available places, out of 800 applicants, on the graduate scheme at one of the UK's leading residential housing developers, Redrow Homes.
As a Graduate Trainee, Laura gained experience in planning procedures and construction processes. Her main job entailed helping with site layout drawings, planning drawings and helping the technical team to obtain planning permission for housing developments of a mixture of sizes. Laura has since been promoted within the company and now works as an Assistant Designer.
Looking back on her time at University, Laura said: “I spent long hours working in the studio and travelling into Preston centre everyday with either models, toolboxes, 17-inch laptops or drawing tubes and portfolios, as I carried on working at home in the evening and often through the night”. Laura continued: “The journey I’ve been on through University and work have helped to shape who I am today.”
When asked for advice to give to students wishing to fulfil a similar career, 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.