5 years ago I was sat in an office, dreaming. I had this crazy idea that I wanted to start a blog, one that could help architecture students get the best out of their studies. I secretly dared to dream that I could turn it into a full time endeavour (but I didn’t tell anyone that at the time).
Fast forward 5 years and here I am today – I can’t believe where the time has gone, or how First In Architecture has grown beyond my expectations.
When I left Uni, as a mature student, I went the traditional route into working in an architecture practice. I was lucky to find work, as the industry was still feeling the effects of the 2007 crash and work was hard to find. Since I had managed to get a placement on my year out I was fortunate enough to secure a position at a really great practice in the south east. I loved working there, mainly because the people were great, the atmosphere and ethos of the company was completely in line with the type of thing I was looking for. As much as I loved working there a combination of wanting to be more independent, and personal circumstances meant that I was considering moving away and going freelance.
Eventually I left the south east and started freelancing, while getting the blog up and running in my free time. Progress was slow initially, and I remember getting really excited when views on the site had been more than just 10 in one day!! Now, I can expect to get around 5k visitors. In a month my website sees 100k visitors. That is just crazy!! Really exciting, but crazy! I hope that the content I put onto the site, is useful, and helps students find ways to improve, and produce their best work in order to graduate with the best opportunities ahead of them. I also hope that professionals find some use for the downloads, guides and other content that I post.
I have now written 4 books, which I continue to update, expand and improve and these are now in many university libraries! Another humbling and mind boggling thought! I have also developed an online subscription for the books that universities can sign up for so that their students have 24/7 access to the books, and all the enhanced content that isn’t available anywhere else. This is proving popular, which again is so encouraging that people are finding value in the products I work so hard to produce.
So for now, five years on, I work independently, running my blog and writing my books. I also work on some freelance projects on the side which gives me a wonderful work balance. I love every aspect of what I do and feel really blessed to be able to work in such a fulfilling way.
Of course, none of this would be possible without my readers, so I would like to thank every one of you for visiting the site, staying a while, downloading the content, commenting, and emailing me – I appreciate every aspect of your engagement. Some of the feedback I have received from you has pushed me on to continue producing as much free advice and content that I can and I will continue to do so.
For anyone thinking of doing something a little bit different when they finish their degree, or are dreaming about a new direction – just go for it. You’ll never know unless you try.
Thank you again for all your support, five years on – who would have thought!