Reading through an exchange students essay about saunas made me realize I might not know that much about my own country! So keeping an open mind pays off and in this case my Italian friends taught me something new about something I thought I knew. I met super athlete Luca from Italy when he was on exchange in Finland. He was studying architecture (therefore the essay on saunas) and now works as an architect! Read about his journey.
What is your job title?
I’m an Architect.
Where do you work?
I work in Italy, in my hometown Cuneo, a medium/small city in the southern part of Piemonte near the mountains. I work in an architecture firm, Studio Undici, with two other architects (my bosses) and a surveyor.
How did you get in to the line of work?
I studied and lived 5 years in Torino, got the master degree and tried to find a job in my hometown to stay closer to the mountains and near my friends and family.
Did you feel lucky landing your job?
Luckily I found the job where I wanted to. And I found really good and nice colleagues.
What qualifications are needed?
To be architect is needed a degree (three years degree or master degree). In Italy with the degree you are “only” doctor in architecture, to be “a real” architect and sign the projects you have to pass a national exam (a skills test, which actually is really tough) in order to sign into the National Public Register of Architects (is the same for the engineers, lawyers etc).
Are you striven by the work you do or your paycheck?
I like my work and I know that I’m very lucky to work for my two bosses that give me a lot of clients. Although the first year of work is always difficult to manage everything and in Italy unfortunately architects are not so well paid.. Anyway, we all are young in the office and we are excited about work and, I can say, we are quite good in what we do. So I’m very optimistic about the future!
Does your work match your expectations?
Part of the answer is the last one I wrote. So, yes, the work definitely match my expectations and I really like it (hopefully growing in the future).
Describe a basic day at work. Does it vary day by day?
Yes, fortunately the work of an architect is really various. So, nothing boring! Usually the basic day is in the office, but, every day there is something to do outside like visits in the construction sites, meeting with customers, meeting with other colleagues, different things to do in several offices like Municipal, Province etc. You have to manage a lot of things and not only “design and projects” and, our office projects both new intervention and renovation and also interior design and business premises like bars, pubs, restaurants etc… So, basically we do everything concerning architecture and design.
What is the most exciting thing about your work and why?
Of course the most exciting part is seeing your ideas and projects being reality, growing up step by step and became true.
What do you get asked about your job by friends and family?
I think what all parents want is to see their son/daughter with a good and right salary to be financially secure and independent. Of course both my family and friends want me to be happy with my life and work, so if I’m happy with what I do they are fine. Very common for relatives is also the question “what have you done today at work”. You know, like when you were at school!! 🙂
What is the best part of your job?
As I told before is very grateful to see your idea growing up, so I think that one of the best part of my job are the visits and the meetings at the constructions sites where you can follow the work in progress.
Do you have bad days or moments? Why?
Sometimes there are difficult moments due to some problems that might happen during the work in progress. And the architect has the responsibility of everything, so you have to take care of them and try to fix everything. And that’s not easy sometimes. But, that’s work, and that’s life; if everything would always be perfect it would be boring.
Do you have any advice for people considering your line of work?
Being an architect in Italy is really difficult. Clients often doesn’t want to pay, you have a lot of responsibilities and sometimes you have to work also during the weekends or something. Then in Italy there are too many architects, so is also very difficult actually to find a job. You have to be patient and hopeful for the future, or you have to go abroad like lots of people do. But, I love this work and if I had to do it over again, I’d do the exact same thing. In Italy, because I want to make it here!
Thank you Luca!