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Mentoring our architects for Part 

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.

“Volunteering for the RIBA Mentoring Scheme has been very interesting. As a young professional, I cannot help but notice gaps between professional and academic education. As a mentor I provide tutorials, career support, CV advice and overall set to prepare my students for the realities of practice ahead of their year out. Mentoring Part 1 students is a way to ensure the next generation can experience a more straight-forward transition to their professional adventure.”

Nikolas Theodore Stagkos RIBA Student Mentor 2019 - 2020 / Current ARB/RIBA Part 3 Candidate at The Bartlett, UCL / ARB/RIBA Part 2 Architectural Assistant Studio Moren

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.

“I decided to go for my Part 3 within the first few months of stage 2 experience at Studio Moren as I was being given projects and responsibilities which aligned with a potential case study. Studio Moren were supportive throughout the process, they provide study leave and specific academic mentors within the office who helped during lectures and submissions. My advice to anyone thinking about doing part 3 is talk to your colleagues; Studio Moren has a library of knowledge from all the people who work there. I would also suggest you choose a relatively small project and request varied experience to meet the RIBA work stages.”

Sulaiman Quereshi Part 3 Candidate Studio Moren

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.

“I decided to do my Part 3 to expand my knowledge on contracts, planning, practice management, codes and employment law with the aim of someday registering with the ARB and becoming a qualified architect in the UK. During the course I would say that it is important to know what to ask, and who to ask, and this is something I felt supported to do at Studio Moren. I would also recommend Part 3 students ask their practice to organise mini CPDs in the form of lectures and workshops to help with their case studies.”

Luz Echenique Part 3 Candidate Studio Moren

“After so many years of being in the profession, I felt I owed it to myself to complete the Part 3. You can’t know everything from the start. You have to pace yourself, it’s a marathon not a race. Ask for help, people will help you. Communicate to people if you have difficulties, don’t keep it to yourself. Be ready to not socialise for a year, but the knowledge, in my opinion, is worth it.”

Armelle Morgan Part 3 Candidate Studio Moren