My name is Johnny, and this May I’ll graduate with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. I’m deeply interested in pursuing a career in landscape architecture, but am a little stumped regarding where to go from here. I think that a graduate degree in landscape architecture would be a great next step, but I’m hesitant to invest so much time and money before experiencing the field for myself. At the same time, I haven’t found many opportunities to work as an LA or alongside LAs without an undergraduate degree in the subject. This summer I’ll attend Harvard’s Career Discovery Program in landscape architecture, and I hope that will shed some light on my question. However, if anyone out there has advice on how to gather professional experience, I’d be more than happy to hear it. Thanks very much for your input, and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!
Note that you won’t have much in terms of skill set for most smaller design firms, but finding an engineering firm w/ an LA department or a cross disciplinary firm/agency may be a good start (say parks departments or environmental consultants). A larger firm may be able to let you intern, but full-time positions may be difficult as the firm needs to bill you 35hrs+/wk and you’ll have to be doing that type of work. knowing autocad would be a start.
I would look at huge government agencies like State Transportation departments or environmental protection divisions or planning divisions – state agencies often have budgets that can absorb interns, have lots of really intense work, and would love to have some cheap labor for a few months – we hire interns where I work, a huge state transportation agency, and they are put to work drafting in microstation or AutoCad, photoshop help, counting irrigation heads or calculating pressure – you will see how the sausages really get made, and be part of it.
Warning to you – it is not easy work.!
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