Niamh Curtin

Architect, Murray O' Laoire

Degree subject Honours Bachelor of Architecture (2004)
Job title Architect
Employer Murray O' Laoire

I've had an interest in design and the way it translates to the built environment from a young age so a career in architecture seemed the best choice for me. When I was looking for my first role, I applied to my current employer with a CV and a sample of my work. I then sat an interview, to which I brought along my full portfolio. I found that having a well-organised portfolio that clearly illustrated all my relevant experience helped at interview.

My role involves liaising with design teams, clients and construction contractors to take an initial idea to a completed building. I am currently involved with several projects at various stages of planning and construction, so I have to be organised!

In a typical week, I work on design development and consult clients. Once a project enters its construction phase, I provide the contractors with necessary information, make site inspections and complete quality control checks. I am also combining my work with studying for my professional practice exams. Qualification involves submitting a case study of a project I have worked on, attending interviews and sitting exams. While this can be tough, it is a necessary step to take for my career development.

Advice for graduates

When beginning your career, it's a good idea to work on smaller projects to get an overview of the scope of work involved in even the simplest of contracts. The best aspect of my job is seeing my designs being realised and built. The satisfaction of knowing my designs are being used for their intended purpose is unbeatable.