Zoom Call posted to Twitter

The Master introduced the event, setting out the Student offer from the Architects’ Company:

  • Opportunities for sponsorship and support, primarily through the WCCA’s Charity, including Legacy funding for Part II students; Travel prizes; Drawing prizes; Awards and Bursaries, including subsidies to participate in Company social events and formal Livery events.
  • Opportunities for Mentoring by a practicing Architect who is a member of the Company and for engagement with other students from a range of Schools of Architecture.
  • Networking and Personal/Professional Development opportunities, including monthly Practice visits; an Annual Lecture by a leading practitioner and two Architectural study weekends each year; usually one study weekend takes place in the UK and the other overseas.
  • Fellowship and friendship through an annual programme of prestigious Livery dinners, lunches and other informal social events.
  • Promotion of the profession through the City Building of the Year Awards and our initiative to position London as a ‘Global Hub’ for architecture.

 

Chris Williamson then chaired an interesting discussion around the offer, and three key opportunities emerged:

  1. WCCA Mentors. Apprentices already have Mentors in their own Practices, and this is a mandatory requirement from RIBA in order to support their in-house training. However, it is a mandatory requirement rom WCCA that Student members should be mentored by a Company Member. It was felt a WCCA Mentor could fulfil a different and complementary role to the in-house Mentor, providing wider support, advice and friendship. It would be more akin to a pastoral role, rather than a professional role, providing support if an Apprentice wished to move Practice, for example.

 

  1. WCCA Virtual Networking. The Architects’ Company has previously proposed setting up a Linked-in platform to provide advice and support to Apprentices and their in-house Mentors, so they could share their own experiences and learn from their peers in other Practices. But the conversation flowed so easily during the Zoom meeting, it was decided to set up a monthly Zoom networking session for Students and Apprentices instead. This has already been put in train by our Master of Students, John Assael and our Deputy Master of Students, John Bushell, as it was felt Students of the Company and Apprentices within our network, would really welcome a supportive network while the universities are closed.

 

The sessions will take place on the second Tuesday of each month at 11.30 – 12.30pm, for the next 4 months (from May until August 2020.) We expect around 10 – 20 students will take part and John Assael will create an agenda before each meeting, so the discussion can be structured, although we are still aiming for it to be reasonably informal and social.

 

  1. WCCA Student Membership. The Company has 10 Student Members who are training via the traditional route. An additional 10 Student Member places are available, and it was agreed we should try to fill them with Apprentices, (ie. students who are training via the Architecture Apprentice route.) Chris Williamson kindly agreed to circulate Student Application forms and Student offer documents to member Practices known to have Apprentices on their staff.

 

Huge thanks to Chris for organising this interesting and worthwhile event. I very much look forward to welcoming some new Student Members to the Company shortly