Placement Experience: Architectural Technician at The RPA Group

Plants hanging against white wall

Interior Architecture and Design student, Sohavi Bhamber, on her placement experience

  • 07 April 2020
  • 5 min read

Interior Architecture & Design student Sohavi Bhamber has been on an amazing placement this year with The RPA Group. Read on to hear all about it…

Tell us a bit about your placement…

This year I get to call myself an Assistant Architectural Technician and maybe even again straight after graduating. I wouldn’t have thought that I would get the opportunity to work on so many interesting projects with companies like Adidas, Footlocker, Tommy Hilfiger, Superdrug and Specsavers. RPA Group also specialises in Residential and Food and Beverage design. The company is split up into Architecture, Design and Project Management.

What have you learnt?

Being someone who was afraid to use Revit and other software in their second year, I became confident in using it within a matter of some weeks. The team at RPA are encouraging and determined to help you become the best and continue to grow every second. The role has enabled me to become more confident in communicating with clients internationally via telephone and email, as well as with my team. Doing my placement year at the RPA Group has been an exceptionally rewarding way to grow my skills, develop my corporate experience and to network with experienced Architects.

If I was at university right now, I’d probably be panicking about not knowing how to do something in Revit or stressing about managing my workload. Being on placement, you learn the skills needed to manage your time, you learn new software and get to TAKE A BREATH! Also, the big plus is that a placement will shine on your CV and open so many gates for you. Where do I start with all the other advantages? Its’s a game-changer for your degree – as you get to work on real-life projects and tackle different challenges on real sites.

Sohavi Bhamber at the RPA Group's christmas party during her placement year

Sohavi at the team’s Christmas Party

What does your role entail?

As an Assistant Architectural Technician at RPA, I’m working on projects for design intent purposes. Mainly, I’m preparing drawing packs for the brand Adidas. With this brand, we start with the ‘Initial Pack’ which involves the Furniture Setting Out Plan; Shop Front Elevation; Shopfitting Component Schedule; Area Plan and Internal Wall Elevations.

The ‘Full Pack’ is then issued after the ‘Initial Pack’ has been approved by the client. This typically involves (all the Initial Pack) Partition Setting Out Plan; Wall and Floor Finish Plan; Electrical Plan; Reflected Ceiling Plan. Working on such projects can change your perspective of what being an Architect, Designer or Technician (etc) really means. You begin to understand what designing a space requires and why. I would say that my highlights so far would be challenges that I face and overcome with Revit, building my architectural knowledge and simply the fact that I go home every day saying “I have learnt something new today”.

What would you say to someone who wants to skip the placement year?

What’s the rush? Would you rather commence your final year stressed from your second year or with a fresh mind and full of knowledge and a positive work ethic? So, if you’re still wondering whether you should do a placement or not – 1000% YES!

Have your say

If you’re one of our students in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries and have a suggestion for something you’d like us to write about, or you'd like to contribute your own story, please let us know by emailing creative-careers@port.ac.uk.

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