Life after Delft: Happy intern

Aarti C. Sharma, an international student from India, recently graduated from Delft’s faculty of Architecture, specializing in urbanism. She reflects on her life after Delft as an intern relentlessly pursuing a larger dream job.

“Working as a full time professional was always my first choice, but given the grim scenario in the job market for urbanists and architects, I had to settle for the next best thing,” says Aarti C. Sharma, who is currently working as an intern in Franz Ziegler Bureau, Rotterdam. “I do not regret being an intern, either. I now work for a firm which specializes in designing urban landscapes and I’m delighted to be involved in a real-time project in the Netherlands.” 

Urbanism is the study of planning and design of strategies for cities, and although this science has been in the fray for a long time in the developing world, it has only started to take off quite well in the recent past given the exploding population and need to plan and develop better cities to ease traffic and make cities better places to live.

One reason why Sharma found it difficult to land a job was her inability to speak fluent Dutch, which is a make or break point for many international students. But was it just Dutch which hindered her job hunt? No, says the urbanist: “There were a couple of other factors too. My field of specialization was a little too focused on urban design, which wasn’t welcomed in many firms. Also, many of the firms I applied to were looking for specific projects and other core architecture-related skills in my portfolio that I didn’t possess or rather weren’t interested in.”

Go out there

On the point of job search, Sharma strongly recommends future job aspirants to go out there in the market and look out for jobs on their own, as companies these days don’t really advertise their jobs. Instead, it must be a conscious effort by the potential job seeker to knock on doors and get in with lots of passion and effort. There is an air of pride in her proclaiming that she got her current internship in exactly this manner, while also acknowledging the fact that being in the right place at the right time also plays an important role in job searches.

“As with all other places, another factor which would weigh up an application is a strong recommendation from a professor who knows about a specific company,” she says, while adding that “an impressive cover letter and a concise resume or portfolio is also really important. I had a feedback from a company which told me that I had too much going on in my portfolio and it was too chaotic. So, I believe a concise resume goes a long way in catching the eye of employers.”

Based on her experience, Sharma says an important thing to avoid during a job search is being too generic. Instead of applying to many companies that all work on a totally wide range of projects, a streamlined approach targeting a few companies with appropriately edited resumes works out better, she believes, as this would also portray your sincerity in the application.

Dream job

Sensing the serious direction in which our conversation was moving, we queried Sharma about Europe being an ‘architect’s dream’. Given Europe’s rich histories and cultures, it is natural to deduce that architecture, from the Renaissance to the modern day structures, have evinced interest in architects and enthusiasts alike. Having studied in one of the most renowned architecture schools in Europe, did Sharma live her dream?

“Yes,” she proclaims vehemently, “I was always interested in strategic management and project planning as a whole and my study was a conscious effort in that direction. I’m happy in the way it shaped up and I’m indeed living my dream. I also got to do a part of my studies abroad in Spain, which gave me more international exposure and a chance to travel around Europe. This helped a lot in understanding the culture, lifestyle, architecture and design of different places, which strongly helped shape my professional interests.”

Being from India, and having worked in the United States for a few years before moving to Europe, what does she feel about the work environment in Netherlands? “People are into themselves,” she states bluntly, forcing a smile. “In the United States or India, we do not eat lunch together, but we hang out after work hours. But in Netherlands, it’s the other way around. We eat lunch together in our professional setting and that’s the maximum extent of socializing we get to do with colleagues, which is very different from what I’m used to.”

Is there anything specific that impresses her most about Dutch work life? “Yes, the lack of a sense of hierarchy in most of the Dutch offices makes me feel welcomed,” she says. “I can really go to any of my bosses and ask them any questions at any time without hesitating. I’m getting to grips with the fact that this is how things work out here and I already love it.”

When asked about future plans, Sharma is quick to say that she wants to try reaching her goal, which is “to work for a global consultancy firm that works on coastal management or strategic planning, preferably in an engineering consultancy company. While there’s still a long way to go for that, I’m glad to say I’ll be completing my internship in a couple of days and have landed myself a full-time job at Altoon + Porter Architects, Amsterdam. This now takes me a step closer to that dream job.”  

De programma’s tonen foto’s van opvallend roze gekleurd gereedschap dat uit de boot is gestolen. Het zeilschip werd in de nacht van dinsdag 30 november op woensdag 1 december in het Reitdiep te Groningen tot zinken gebracht. Het schip lag in het water bij de werf No Limits Ships BV aan de Friesestraatweg.

In de ochtend van 1 december bleek het schip gedeeltelijk onder water te staan. Na onderzoek bleek dat dit kwam door grote vernielingen aan het duurzame zeiljacht.

Oorspronkelijk zou het schip deze maand naar Scheveningen gaan om in de zomer aan een wereldreis te beginnen. Die plannen lopen naar schatting van Ockels tot een jaar vertraging op.

Opsporing Verzocht is dinsdag 1 februari te zien op Nederland 1 omstreeks 21.50 uur. De herhaling volgt op woensdag 2 februari op Nederland 2 omstreeks 11.15 uur. Noord Vandaag is dinsdag 1 februari omstreeks 18.00 uur te zien op RTVNoord.

Redacteur Redactie

Heb je een vraag of opmerking over dit artikel?

Comments are closed.