Earlier this year I had the opportunity to speak to a full class of enthusiastic, engaging Architectural, Engineering Technology students at Thompson Rivers University, it was a lot of fun and I was asked some great questions by the students.
I spoke to them on how BIM has changed the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owners and Operators) industry and the impact of BIM and technology that utilizes BIM will have in the future. I spoke on a wide range of topics from the transition from the traditional drafting process to the current state of BIM and it impacts on our deliverables including BIM utilization and data management and visualization.
Here are some points I made to the class of young people who are just starting out in their career in BIM.
Diversity is the key, diversity in your experiences and diversity of acquired skills which will lead you too opportunities in the AEC industry.
Specialize, find the one thing you can excel at. If you can specialize and become the subject matter expert (SME) in one application or process, you immediately become more valuable as an employee and you just gave yourself a differentiator on your resume. Could be as simple as knowing how to use Navisworks, dRofus or understanding the workflow into Virtual Reality.
Take opportunities to advance your skills. These opportunities may not be directly related to your field of choice but if you learn more about the downstream or upstream processes you’ll be in a greater position to help facilitate the processes, whether that's in a variety of disciplines such as fabrication, construction, project management or design, well-rounded skills will make you more versatile and adaptable.
Quite often opportunities appear when no one else wants the job. I know lots of Architects that cannot adapt and have limited skills because they have limited themselves in their focus and have not taken opportunities presented to them to learn new skills or improve their knowledge outside of their narrowly focused field.
Branding, you create your opportunities by how you promote yourself, branding is key!
Your brand is your image you present to the industry, keep it professional and humble.
I really enjoyed my time at TRU and hope to visit the class again soon to follow up on their progress.
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