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Thursday 30 April 2015

Architectural Technology student asked to write article by CIAT

Darius Beck, a student from our BA (Hons) Architectural Technology programme, has already got his career off to a stellar start – and he hasn’t even graduated yet!

Darius came to us as a mature student, having already spent several years completing a BTEC course in electrical engineering, an advanced apprenticeship in fabricated welding and a stint in the industry as a fabrication engineer. These occupations led Darius to realise his passion for architecture, which he cemented with a week’s work experience at a local architectural practice.

Pursuing work experience while studying was the key to Darius’s success

Many of the staff at this practice were Southampton Solent University graduates, who recommended that Darius look into our architectural technology course. He took their advice, commencing his studies here shortly afterwards.

Talking about starting a degree as a mature student, Darius said:

“Before embarking on the course, I did not know what to expect and had many anxieties as I have been out of education for a long time. However, my worries proved to be unfounded as a result of the support I received from the lecturers.

Furthermore, I was lucky enough to be in a year with a good group of fellow students, some of whom were also mature students, so I didn’t feel like I was the only one. I settled in very quickly.”

Darius’s employer was happy for him to work around his undergraduate timetable.

In his second year Darius took on two more work experience assignments, the second of which led to some amazing news:

“After my summer placement, I was awarded one of the company’s few scholarships including a bursary for my contribution over the summer and help with my studies in my final year, with the view to return full time after graduation.

“Currently I work at least one day a week during term time and more over the holiday periods. I am lucky because my employers understand how important it is for me to complete my degree course and get the best possible results, and are therefore happy to allow me to work around my timetable.”

The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) saw so much value in Darius’s story that they asked him to write an article on the importance of pursuing work experience while studying. To find out more about Darius’s story and his time at Solent, be sure to take a look at CIAT’s newsletter (page 16-17).

Well done Darius! To find out more about following in his footsteps and pursuing a career in architectural technology, please visit the built environment courses homepage.