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From the Classroom to CAD

There's a real cost associated with attending university, but according to fourth year UWA Architecture student Akemi Corbett, you can't put a price on the experience gained on the job.

Akemi has just completed 13 weeks of work experience with BGC Residential in the Research and Design department, assisting the team with their ongoing projects for National Homes, Commodore Homes, WA Housing Centre, Stratawise and Now Living. Working under Design Manager Dusan Balbi, Akemi says the experience working in the 'real world' was invaluable.

p1020530"In the short time I have been with BGC, I have progressed from basic construction knowledge to having a much better understanding of construction, especially brick construction," said Akemi.

"On top of this, I have also learnt how to use Archicad (computer drafting program), gained understanding of the building industry, watched how a large company operates and picked up various skills in teamwork, decision making, time management and so on. It sounds like a lot to absorb over only 13 weeks, but work experience really has been that invaluable to me."

Akemi's placement came about through her father, Mick Corbett, who works for BGC Contracting.

"After I showed a keen interest to gain some experience in the building industry, he asked around to see if there would be any possibilities for me in the residential section of the company. He said that over in contracting they have internships available to engineering and other students, and it eventuated that the powers that be in BGC Residential were able to offer a similar opportunity to me. I was very fortunate," she said.

"The highlight of the placement was definitely the great people who have taught, and been patient with me. Dusan and the Research and Design team have been wonderful, going out of their way constantly to make sure I have had a rich experience."

"At uni we're usually working solo on our projects, but here it's been great to see just how many people get involved in each individual project and work efficiently as a team to meet common goals. One thing I could never have learned in a lecture theatre, is how to work with a budget that doesn't stretch," she added.

Akemi still has 18 months left of her degree, and after that she hopes to travel. When asked what her dream job would be, she answered that a career in designing luxury resorts would be pretty good. That, or luxury cubby houses for children!