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Madeleine Rutherford Browne


United Kingdom
Everything I do as an Architectural Assistant contains elements of everything I learnt at university. From computer skills to communication, I am now putting in to practice what university was preparing me for.

More about Madeleine

What made you choose NTU and your course?

From studying an architecture Summer Short Course at NTU in 2017, I knew that NTU was the right University for me. All the staff and students were so enthusiastic and friendly, and it was exciting to see the facilities and studio spaces available. Nottingham is such an exciting city to be a part of and had the potential for some great studio projects too within the course.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

Studying architecture allowed me to be creative and curious with my degree. The challenge really motivated me throughout to keep bettering myself and I was constantly learning new skills that I’d never even anticipated learning. The course also provided opportunities for personal, academic, and professional growth, all of which really dictated the success of my university experience.

What did you think about the course staff? How did they support your learning and university experience?

Especially in our final year, the course staff provided an exemplar experience that really prepared me for life outside of university. Entering the workplace, I felt so confident in what I had be taught and I am very grateful to our tutors for curating such an intellectually stimulating and practical learning experience.

How has your career developed since leaving NTU?

I’m currently doing my first placement year to become a RIBA Chartered Architect. I’m continuing my education in preparation of returning to university to complete a master’s degree in architecture, working on my networking with other industry professionals and keeping close connections with the NTU Employability team. I’m working on some great projects at Evans Vettori Architects, some with NTU itself, and others including private residential projects, a Grade II* Listed Manor House, and small-scale restoration projects across the Peak Park.

What is your favourite project to date that you have worked on in your career?

I feel very fortunate in such an early stage in my career to be co-leading the design of a replacement dwelling in a small town in Derbyshire. The clients have an amazing site within a conservation area, with views over the countryside. The site has an early 19th-century candlemakers barn adjacent to their existing home, and we’re using this historic out-building as the key to our concept.

So far, we’ve seen the project through RIBA Stages of Work 0-3 and we’re awaiting a planning decision. By the end of my placement, I’m hoping we’ll be at Stage 4 or early 5, which is a really exciting opportunity for me so early in my career.

How does your current role utilise your skills that you learnt during your time at NTU?

Everything I do as an Architectural Assistant contains elements of everything I learnt at university. From computer skills to communication, I am now putting in to practice what university was preparing me for.

How did you manage to attain the role you are currently working in? 

I worked hard on my personal employability throughout summer and third year, so that when I was applying for the roles that meant the most to me, I would be putting my best foot forward, with the best application and approach I possibly could. I took advantage of every opportunity from NTU that I could, opportunities that expanded my CV, knowledge, and network. Those included RIBA Future Architects Mentoring Scheme, NTU Employability Award, NTU Sustainability in Practice, STEER Mentoring, Carbon Literacy Award, Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship and Architecture North Competition to name a few that felt key to my success during final year degree.

Through taking part in these, I not only enhanced my own experience at NTU but also expanded my network and found people that could help me with my applications. Speaking to HR representatives, architects and the NTU Employability team gave me the vital feedback I needed on my CV, cover letter and portfolio to make it a standout application.

What advice would you give to current students at NTU in relation to their career?

If you’re looking for employment immediately after graduating, start thinking about your career as early as possible and doing extra-curricular activities that contribute towards your experience and career goals. Seek as much advice as possible, everyone is bound to have slightly varying advice which will help you towards your career goals. Take advantage of the opportunities that NTU makes for you, most of these will tie into the course you already study and won’t require much additional effort for the benefits it will yield.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418
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