06 February 2018
06 February 2018
"Design your own career" - Simon Allford, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects
What Employers Want - World Architecture Festival, Berlin 2016
Filmed by Bespoke Careers at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, Simon Allford, Director at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects, tells us what makes an AHMM person, gives CV advice for anyone applying for a job, what makes a candidate stand out from the crowd, what he'd like to see in a portfolio and his advice for those just starting out in their architecture career.
What makes someone an A.H.M.M. person?
I never liked the idea that anyone who works in our office is a part of a family. I think of it as a college; people come and go, they remain friends, they do different things. It’s the very brightness, intelligence and focus of people that makes them get what they want out of the office.
What CV advice would you give someone applying?
After an incredible amount of learning, they think all those qualifications matter a great deal – we never really look at those qualifications. What we are interested in is the person and a bit more background about where they came from, what interests them, where they went to school, things they do. So it’s who they are and what they do that matters.
What would make a candidate stand out from the crowd?
Ultimately, we select people initially on what we see of their work. It’s not their CV, it’s actually just the block of work that they’ve sent to us, and then that conversation is enriched by the CV. It’s ultimately their talent that makes them stand out.
What do you think makes a good first impression at an interview?
The most crucial thing in that first meeting is to be alert, awake and energetic.
What would you like to see in a portfolio?
The most important thing that is seen in a portfolio now is difference. So actually, it’s hand-drawing or making, rather than just purely digital output. What medium we receive the portfolio in, paper or electronic, makes no difference. It’s about the content showing a variety of ways of looking at architecture and not obsessing with the technological format. We don’t mind whether it’s hand-drawn, computerised or models; it’s that range that we are interested in.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out?
I would say, architecture is a fabulous career, but make sure you design your own career and choose what you are going to do. Don’t just let the need for money or whatever take you somewhere – focus on your value. Don’t underestimate your value to society.
Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers