Many of you will be aware that the Department of Architecture at the University of Pretoria has, for the past 15 years required of prospective students who apply for admission to our undergraduate programme to undertake job-shadowing so as to better inform themselves about the nature and operation of their chosen profession through first-hand experience. My research indicates that job-shadowing is a critical part of an applicant’s preparation, not only because it corrects naïve perceptions (such as that architects ‘draw plans’ all day long), but also because it reveals that it is a many-faceted career (most applicants are not aware that site visits form part of many projects); it most definitely also serves to motivate serious applicants and remove doubts they may have when they observe what practice actually entails.
Amid the pandemic and all the other challenges the profession and academy face, I therefore appeal to you to, wherever possible and only if you are able to observe all COVID-19 protocols, to seriously consider requests from prospective students who are tasked with job-shadowing.
We do not require practitioners to sign any forms, draft confirmation letters or give us other feedback. We simply request that you allow applicants to observe your activities and to offer them some insight into the richness of architectural practice.
With my thanks and best wishes
Dr Nico Botes
BArch MInt PhD (Pretoria)
Coordinator: Undergraduate Programmes • Convenor: Selection (Coursework Programmes)