Being a Part 1 During the Pandemic

Experiences of Ioanna Boumpalou at White Ink Architects

Being a Part 1 in a Pandemic

Where did you study?

I studied at Queen’s University, here in Belfast.

How did you find the transition to remote working from working in an office environment?

I must admit working from home was challenging and a bit scary at first, as you didn’t have the privilege of going to people’s desks for face-to-face conversations and informal discussions.

However, as time went by, I found that this might in fact be a blessing in disguise as I had to challenge myself, take initiative and take on more responsibility. I gained valuable team and solo working experience and my communication skills improved. I had to learn to effectively illustrate an idea on screen in addition to asking questions clearly and succinctly through a call or a message.

What type of Projects did you work on during your experience?

During my work experience with White Ink, I worked on various projects with varying scales such as the Bus Depot in Brentford Lock West, a housing masterplan in Woking, but for the most part I was part of the Postmark project team, a high-rise residential scheme in London. As it is a large project with a demanding timeframe, I learned a lot and had the opportunity to work on many different aspects of design and watch it evolve.

What skills will you take away from working at White Ink?

Working with White Ink has offered me the opportunity to gain a wide variety of skills not only on technical level (drafting sketches, drawing in CAD and BIM, understanding technical details, etc.) but also on a professional level (communicating ideas, solving problems, working in a team, achieving goals within specific deadline and a lot more).

More specifically, as a new Part 1 just out of the university, I had reservations working in Revit having had little previous experience. However, I began with small tasks initially that got bigger and more complex, and with the everyday support of my team members I can now confidently work with Revit and have set the foundations to develop my skills even further.

I was responsible for managing the project information exchange on the common data environment ‘Viewpoint.’ With this responsibility I was able to see the input and coordination from other consultants and gain insight into the collaborative nature a project of this scale. It was interesting to see the consultants work together to ensure the project is well executed without compromising the quality.

Have you any tips or advice for students commencing their Part 1 experience?

My advice to the students just starting their Part 1 placements is to not be afraid to ask questions, try new things and don’t be afraid to take on a task for the first time, even if you’re a bit unsure how to do it! (We’ve all been there!) With the help of others in the team and office you will learn and improve! Learn as much as you can and keep notes of your tasks. Observing more experienced members of the team and learning how they respond in a tricky situation, how they write an email and organise their time to cope with deadlines is also very helpful!


Ioanna Boumpalou