From Intern to Manager: An Architect’s Journey
Study hard, manage your time and take any internship that offers you the chance to build the skills you need to succeed—this is the message from Phann Tangseng, a manager at Architecture Design Intelligence (ADi)
PHNOM PENH--Studying and developing both hard and soft skills are what helped Phann Tangseng to go from interning to becoming a manager at Architecture Design Intelligence (ADi), an architectural design project.
Tangseng has now been working for ADi for more than five years, but when he stepped into his career as an architect, he knew that he had to work hard to grow.
“Starting with being an intern, I did not know anything, so I depended a lot on my supervisor to explain [the work]. Also, I spent my time, besides from doing schoolwork, studying more in the company to gain experience from the seniors,” he said.
In addition to practical work experience, the 31-year-old architect also never forgot to learn new knowledge related to his profession.
“I spent a lot of time with [other architects at] the company to learn from their experience. At the same time, I tried to learn more about new materials, new construction techniques through construction companies, the internet, and books,” he said.
He added that improving soft skills has strengthened his communication with colleagues and clients.
For Tangseng, as a professional architect, it is necessary to have knowledge of the history of Khmer architecture as well as that of modern architecture, allowing the architect to connect the two architectural styles while meeting the clients’ needs.
Tangseng, on top of that, differentiated the two types of employee between the one who changes job regularly seeking new experience and the one who stays at the same company for many years.
“For those who move from one place to another, they may meet new people, contribute to various projects, and have [more] opportunities. However, for those who work at the same company for a long time, they will gain their leaders’ trust in the company and have the chances to receive projects to study on,” he said.
Through his hard-earned experience, Tangseng said the supervisor would divide the work for each person in the team to work on, and the division would be based on their own specialisms and skills.
As for the experienced employees, he said the work remains available for them to study by giving them requirements from the boss and from the project.
“They can do the preparation [for the project], and we will have a discussion on that, then we can finalize the project,” he said.
Encouraging other architects, Tangseng provided advised them to develop themselves in pursuing their profession and come up with new creative ideas.
“Sometimes, it depends on the type of project and the project owner’s knowledge that allows himself or herself to explore their own project more,” he said.
His message to architecture students is to manage their time wisely, but said he strongly advised students to undertake internship programs wherever possible to help them gain the knowledge and experience needed for their profession.