For Students

Securing an Architecture & Urban Planning Internship in London

Huzzle Author Charlie
Charlie Mart
Founders Associate @Huzzle

Securing an internship in architecture and urban planning is a crucial step in starting your career. And what better place to do it than the vibrant city of London, a hub of architectural innovation and urban development. In this article, we will guide you through the process of landing an internship in this exciting field.

Understanding the London Architecture & Urban Planning Scene

Before diving into the application process, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the London architecture and urban planning scene. London is renowned for its iconic structures, from the historic landmarks like the Tower of London to modern architectural marvels like The Shard.

London's architecture is a reflection of its rich history and diverse culture. The city boasts a fascinating mix of architectural styles, from the grandeur of Georgian townhouses in Mayfair to the sleek glass facades of contemporary buildings in Canary Wharf. Exploring the city's streets will take you on a journey through time, with each neighborhood showcasing its unique architectural character.

When it comes to urban planning, London is continually evolving. The city is known for its emphasis on sustainability, mixed-use developments, and preserving its rich historical fabric while creating spaces for the future. Urban planners in London face the challenge of balancing the need for new development with the preservation of the city's unique character.

Key Players in the London Architecture Industry

London is home to several influential architectural firms. Foster + Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and Zaha Hadid Architects are just a few of the big names shaping the city's skyline. These firms have left an indelible mark on London's architectural landscape, with their innovative designs and iconic structures.

Interning at one of these prestigious architectural firms can provide aspiring architects with invaluable experience and mentorship. Working alongside talented professionals, interns have the opportunity to contribute to real-world projects and gain insight into the design process. From conceptualization to construction, interns can witness firsthand how architectural ideas are transformed into tangible structures that shape the city.

Overview of Urban Planning in London

Urban planning is a critical aspect of London's development. The Greater London Authority, led by the Mayor of London, is responsible for strategic planning and ensuring sustainable growth. The authority works closely with various stakeholders, including local councils, developers, and community groups, to shape the city's future.

Internships in urban planning offer a unique opportunity to contribute to the city's development. As an intern, you may be involved in master planning projects, transportation initiatives, or public space design. You will work alongside experienced planners, conducting research, analyzing data, and developing strategies to address the city's urban challenges.

London's urban planners strive to create a city that is inclusive, accessible, and environmentally sustainable. They focus on creating well-designed public spaces, promoting active transportation, and integrating green infrastructure into the urban fabric. By interning in urban planning, you can play a part in shaping the future of London and contribute to the city's ongoing transformation.

Preparing for Your Internship Application

Doing an architecture & urban planning internship in London

Securing an internship in architecture and urban planning requires a combination of technical skills, creativity, and a well-crafted application. Here are some key aspects to focus on:

Architecture and urban planning internships offer invaluable opportunities for aspiring professionals to gain hands-on experience and develop their skills in a real-world setting. Whether you're a student looking to kickstart your career or a recent graduate seeking practical exposure, preparing a strong internship application is essential.

Essential Skills for Architecture & Urban Planning Interns

In career paths as architecture graduates, it's crucial to showcase your skills and highlight your suitability for the role. Key skills to emphasize include proficiency in AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, and other relevant software. These tools are widely used in the industry and having a solid foundation in them will greatly enhance your chances of securing an internship.

However, technical skills alone are not enough. Architecture and urban planning are collaborative fields that require effective teamwork and problem-solving abilities. Highlight your ability to work as part of a team, your capacity to communicate and collaborate effectively, and your aptitude for finding innovative solutions to complex challenges. These qualities will demonstrate your potential to contribute positively to a professional environment.

Furthermore, a keen eye for design is a fundamental attribute for any aspiring architect or urban planner. Showcase your ability to think creatively, your attention to detail, and your understanding of aesthetic principles. Discuss any relevant projects or coursework that demonstrate your design sensibilities and your commitment to creating functional and visually appealing spaces.

Crafting an Impressive CV and Cover Letter

CV and cover letter are your first and most important chance to make a stellar impression. Here are some cv and cover letter tips for students looking to secure an architecture & urban planning role:

Tailor your CV to highlight relevant coursework, projects, and any work experience you have. Include details about any architectural or urban planning projects you have been involved in, emphasizing your contributions and the skills you developed during those experiences.

Additionally, it is essential to showcase your passion for architecture and urban planning through your cover letter. Use this opportunity to discuss specific projects or areas of interest that have inspired you and motivated you to pursue a career in this field. Demonstrate your knowledge of current trends and challenges in architecture and urban planning, and explain how you envision contributing to the industry.

Remember to proofread your CV and cover letter carefully, ensuring that they are free from any grammatical or spelling errors. A polished and well-presented application will make a positive impression on potential employers and increase your chances of securing an internship.

Navigating the Internship Application Process

Architecture & urban planning graduates working

Now that you're well-prepared, it's time to navigate the internship application process in London. Here are the key steps:

Where to Find Internship Opportunities

When it comes to finding internship opportunities in the architectural field in London, there are several websites and career related platforms like Huzzle. These websites are a great starting point for your search, as they provide a centralized location for architectural firms to post their internship positions.

However, don't limit yourself to online platforms alone. Another effective way to find internship opportunities is by attending student career events or participating in university job fairs. These events provide a unique opportunity to network with leading architectural firms in London. By engaging with professionals in the field, you can gain valuable insights into the industry and potentially discover internship openings that may not be advertised online.

The Interview Process: What to Expect

Once you've submitted your application and caught the attention of a potential employer, you may be called in for an interview. It's important to be well-prepared and know what to expect during the interview process. Typically, architectural and urban planning internships involve multiple rounds of interviews. This is because firms want to ensure that they select candidates who not only possess the necessary skills and qualifications but also align with their company culture and values.

During the interview, you can expect to be asked questions about your portfolio, design process, and your knowledge of current architectural trends and projects in London. It's essential to showcase your creativity, problem-solving abilities, and passion for architecture. Be prepared to discuss specific projects you have worked on in the past, highlighting your contributions and the lessons you have learned from them.

Additionally, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the firm you are interviewing with. Research their previous projects, their design philosophy, and any recent accolades or recognition they have received. This will not only demonstrate your genuine interest in the firm but also enable you to ask insightful questions during the interview, showcasing your enthusiasm and dedication.

Making the Most of Your Internship

Securing an architecture & urban planning internship in London

Congratulations on securing your internship! Now it's time to make the most of this valuable opportunity. Here are some tips to maximize your experience:

Networking in the Architecture & Urban Planning Industry

London is a city buzzing with networking opportunities. Attend industry events, seminars, and exhibitions to meet professionals and expand your network. Building relationships can lead to future job prospects and collaborations.

When attending these events, make sure to bring your business cards and be prepared to engage in meaningful conversations. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to industry leaders and ask them about their experiences and insights. Networking is not just about exchanging contact information, but also about building genuine connections.

In addition to attending events, consider joining professional organizations and online communities related to architecture and urban planning. These platforms provide a great opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and stay updated on industry trends. Remember, networking is a continuous process. Even after your internship ends, stay in touch with the people you've met. Send follow-up emails expressing your gratitude for their time and insights. Building a strong professional network can open doors for future career opportunities.

Turning Your Internship into a Full-Time Job

During your internship, showcase your skills, work ethic, and passion for the field. Actively seek feedback and take on additional responsibilities whenever possible. Many architectural firms offer full-time positions to exceptional interns. One way to stand out is by going above and beyond the assigned tasks. Take the initiative to propose innovative ideas or suggest improvements to ongoing projects. Show your enthusiasm and willingness to learn by asking questions and seeking guidance from your mentors.

Additionally, take advantage of any training or professional development opportunities offered by your internship program. Attend workshops, webinars, or conferences that can enhance your knowledge and skills in architecture and urban planning. Building strong relationships with your colleagues is also crucial. Collaborate with your teammates, offer assistance when needed, and demonstrate your ability to work well in a team environment. By showcasing your positive attitude and dedication, you increase your chances of being considered for a full-time position in career paths as urban planning graduates.

Lastly, don't forget to update your resume and portfolio throughout your internship. Document the projects you've worked on, the skills you've acquired, and any notable achievements. A well-crafted resume and portfolio will help you showcase your internship experience when applying for future job opportunities.

Living and Working in London

London offers a unique experience for interns, with its rich history, diverse culture, and countless attractions. Here are some aspects to consider:

Accommodation Options for Interns

London has a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets. Consider renting a room in a shared house or exploring purpose-built student accommodations. Additionally, some architectural firms offer assistance in finding temporary housing for their interns.

When it comes to finding accommodation in London, it's important to consider factors such as location, cost, and convenience. The city is divided into different boroughs, each with its own distinct character and amenities. For example, if you prefer a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, areas like Camden or Shoreditch might be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a more peaceful and residential environment, neighborhoods like Richmond or Hampstead could be ideal.

Furthermore, London's transportation system is well-developed, with an extensive network of buses, trains, and the famous Underground. When choosing your accommodation, it's worth considering its proximity to public transportation, as this will make it easier for you to navigate the city and commute to your internship.

Balancing Work and Life in the City

While interning in London, it's important to find a balance between work and leisure. Explore the city's iconic landmarks, visit galleries, and indulge in its vibrant food scene. Engage with other interns and colleagues, organizing outings to make the most of your time in this incredible city.

London is a city that never sleeps, offering a plethora of activities to suit every interest. If you're a history enthusiast, you can spend your weekends exploring the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, or the British Museum. For art lovers, there are world-class galleries such as the Tate Modern, the National Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. And let's not forget about the food! London is a melting pot of cuisines from around the world, with street food markets, Michelin-starred restaurants, and everything in between.

Additionally, London is known for its vibrant nightlife. From trendy bars and clubs in Soho to live music venues in Camden, there's always something happening after work hours. Take advantage of the city's diverse social scene to network with professionals in your field and make connections that could benefit your future career.

Bottom Line

Securing an architecture and urban planning internship in London is an exciting opportunity to refine your skills, gain practical experience, and bring your creativity to life. By understanding the London scene, crafting a compelling application, and making the most of your internship, you'll be on your way to a successful career in this dynamic field. So, seize the chance to learn from industry leaders, immerse yourself in the city's architectural fabric, and shape the future of London's urban landscape.

Charlie Mart
Aspiring business leader driven to change the world through tech⚡️ The late Steve Jobs once said 'the only way to do great work is to love what you do'. Following these wise words, I am currently focused on growing Huzzle so every student can find their dream graduate job 💚
Related Career Opportunities

Recent posts for Students