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JOB SPOT - Getting back on course

RECRUITMENT

How do you get back into mainstream architectural education if you opt out during your training? It is a common dilemma and in the case of foreign students trying to make it in London, it may be compounded by lack of contacts.Guido Martini's experiences are a case in point.

After five years at the University of Florence, which he found 'very academic and chaotic', he came to London.

He approached the RIBA Education Board and was granted exemption from Part 1 on the strength of his portfolio.He gained a place at Westminster but shortly into his Part 2 he dropped out.Two years later he tried again.

He advertised for an architectural student to share his flat; he attended two CAD courses at Westminster and north London, to gain the skills his peers were learning in studios.He wondered if he should work up his rudimentary German but never did.He scanned the recruitment columns in the architectural press but found nothing. In desperation he copied out the details of medium to small London practices from the RIBA directory and sent out e-mails to 50, saying he was willing to work for free.He had about 15 responses and three interviews before being taken on by a small five-person practice.

Eight months later he is still there, ideally placed to see whether he wants to step back into the educational mainstream.

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