Mentoring our architects for Part 3
By Joel Iseli, Associate
We are pleased to announce that three Studio Moren team members have passed their Part 3 professional qualifications, two with commendations. Achieving Part 3 is the last important hurdle designers face before being able to call themselves a fully qualified architect.
At Studio Moren, we encourage a culture of mentoring and trust to empower our team and prepare them for their Part 3. The past year has certainly been busy. As well as proofreading the candidate’s submissions, such as the case studies and the PEDR sheets, we also prepared them for the university lectures. Part 3 is all about being ready. We helped our candidates get ready for their lectures by introducing them to the subject in-house. It’s not a repeat or a ‘dress rehearsal’. It is about understanding the vocabulary and basic concepts so candidates can absorb more during the university lectures. We also conducted mock interviews in the office to prepare them for the examination.
Feedback from the candidates has been positive. They unanimously said that they had learnt a great deal, that it helped them gain a better understanding of all the different parts of a project, and how they connect with each other.
There is often the misconception that being a mentor means giving away your time. For my part, mentoring my colleagues, and being a professional examiner at UCL, has also taught me a lot. As well as refreshing my knowledge on the actual Part 3 subjects, mentoring has helped develop my people skills.
The mentoring program is now entering into its second year and past candidates are helping the new ones with tips and lessons learnt. Their feedback is invaluable to improve how we can help future students. The successful candidates this year said combining work deadlines with course work and exams is one of the main challenges - time management is definitely one of the keys to success.
Our mentoring scheme was noted by the Bartlett School of Architecture and this year I was invited to be a professional examiner, and help conduct the School’s oral examination, the final exam for Part 3 candidates. Again, as well as helping examine candidates, I’ve learnt a lot, particularly how to manage interviews in very stressful conditions.
Mentoring isn’t just for more experienced architects. Current Part 3 candidate Nikolas is also invited on occasion to critique at Brighton, where he completed his Part 1, and most recently volunteered for the RIBA Mentoring Scheme.
Reflecting on this year’s mentoring scheme, we can now see how this is a cycle, where mentees then become mentors who then then learn new skills by passing on their experience. Working hard to continuously learn and improve our skills, not only adds to our understanding, but also helps us give a better service to our clients.