Alumna lends support to next generation

21 January 2015

Rachel Atkinson

Architectural technologist Gayle Barber shared industry experience with current students

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) alumna has been back in the classroom to support the next generation of architects and designers.

Architectural technologist Gayle Barber, who now works at Kirkham-based architect practice Croft Goode, came back to UCLan’s alumni day to share her industry experience and career advice with current students.

The former Carr Hill High School pupil joined the award winning practice in 2008 and won a sponsorship to study at UCLan. She graduated in 2013 with a First class honours degree in Architectural Technology.

Along with other alumni on the day, Gayle was able to offer students practical insight into life after University, including tips and advice on securing work experience and post-graduate jobs. In addition, Gayle’s expertise was also sought as she led design tutorials with final year students where she provided practical feedback on design proposals.

Ann Vanner, Course Leader for Architectural Technology in UCLan’s Grenfell Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment, was delighted to see her back on the Preston Campus.

She gave valuable insight into what it is like to work in a modern architectural firm to third year students taking their first steps into the real working world.

She said: “Gayle achieved invaluable work experience while studying part-time and juggled all other aspects of her life to achieve First class honours, she is a role model and we were delighted to welcome her back. She gave valuable insight into what it is like to work in a modern architectural firm to third year students taking their first steps into the real working world.

“Gayle answered an array of questions from using the classroom theory of architectural technology in practice to what to wear in an office environment, no question was too small. It really helped grow the students’ confidence to meet Gayle and hear about her experiences, and successes, first hand. We have historically worked very closely with Croft Goode and look forward to seeing students, old and new, flourish under their guidance.”

Commenting on the UCLan alumni day, Gayle said: “I was excited to be invited back to UCLan to speak to some of the current students about my experiences. Architecture is a competitive field, but UCLan’s Architectural Technology course has gained recognition not just on a local but a national basis. This means its graduates are well placed to secure successful employment and move on to further studies.

“Supporting the next wave of designers, architects and architectural technologists is a key focus for Croft Goode so working closely with students and graduates through alumni days is a great way to build these relationships.”

Gayle’s connection with Croft Goode started with a work based placement as she studied A Levels at Carr Hill Sixth Form. It was this initial introduction to the world of architecture and urban design that propelled Gayle into her part-time UCLan degree. From 2008 to 2013, she was able to combine study with real project involvement as she pursued her studies on an ‘earn and learn’ basis.

During her time at Croft Goode, Gayle has been involved in numerous projects. Her latest schemes have seen her act as lead designer on two listed building conservation projects: one in Liverpool and one based in Llandudno.