Life of a Final Year Architecture Student – What’s it like? | SAS Podcast 27 with Hendrik Boshoff

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What’s life like as a final year architecture student? Is it really THAT hard? How can you prepare?

Hendrik Boshoff is an Honours architecture student at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Hendrik’s had his rough times. With his parents moving out of the country while still in University, he’s been forced to survive on his own.

His adversities and hardships have made him into the hardened warrior he is today.

Hendrik learned life’s necessary skills and went out to find work. It wasn’t easy – but came across an opportunity with CAD International, one of Australia’s largest architecture and design software resellers.

Along with this, he battles with the not-so-easy final year of architecture school in his honour’s degree.

Hendrik is also working on his Kitchen and Bathroom Design Podcast (https://soundcloud.com/kbcdesignpodcast) in association with CAD International and Archline.xp, a software for interior and residential design.

Get in contact with Hendrik and check out some of the work he’s doing:

Email: i[email protected]

ARCHLine.XP: https://www.instagram.com/archlinexp_cad/

CAD International: https://cad.com.au/

Get my new ebook! “How to Ace Any Project in Architecture School”

Hey! My name’s Kyle.

From a sample of 25,000 students that applied to enter architecture school:
15.30% of them were accepted.
8.50% of them made it through to the second half of their education.
2.04% of them were awarded a degree in Architecture (post-graduate)
0.78% of them ended up working a job in architecture.

Successful Archi Student is a platform for architecture students to learn off one another to become the LESS THAN 1% of students who end up being successful in the profession.

On the podcast, you’ll hear from practicing architects, other successful students and myself, Kyle, a third year architecture student from South Australia.

Doing so, you’ll learn the tips and tricks to excel past the rest of your cohort and build the skills needed to take your work to another level.

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Episode 27 Transcript. Life of a Final Year Architecture Student - What's it Like?

Kyle  0:00 

This is the Successful Archi Student’s podcast episode 27 with Hendrik Boshoff.

 

Kyle  0:04 

Hey guys, welcome to the episode today I’m super pumped to get into this and we’re interviewing Henrik Boshoff. He’s a student from Queensland University of technologies. That’s the QUT in Australia. Hendrik is a really knowledgeable guy and I really enjoyed this interview, despite me not being in my normal energy because I was extremely tired when I did the interview. However, despite that, he’s got a lot of great knowledge he’s gonna share with you. Let me just tell you a little bit about him. Hendrik Bosch is a business development manager at CAD International. So he’s worked his way up. He’s still an honest student in university, but he’s working for cat International. He’s working with arch line.xp, which is another software company in Australia, and they’ve got their own software so it’s worth checking that out. Also, he’s got a podcast at the moment a kitchen and bathroom design podcasts where he’s interviewed a bunch of people from the KVD which is the kitchen Bathroom design Institute, which is something in Australia. And so he’s got a lot of great advice to share with you guys. And if you guys stick around to the end, I do ask him some of his biggest takeaways from interviewing some of the biggest and most successful designers in Australia. And I asked him what he took away from that and he shares that with us. So, um, definitely stick around till the end and hope you guys enjoy this episode. Please do watch it or if you don’t have time now, you can watch out you can listen to the podcast over on Spotify, iTunes, Apple podcasts, or Deezer cast box. There’s a whole bunch of different platforms you can listen to it on. You can check it all in the show notes. And without further ado, let’s just get straight into the interview with Hendrick Bosch off.

 

Kyle  1:59 

Today I am joined here by Hendrik Boshoff from Queensland, Australia. How you doing Hendrik?

 

Hendrik  2:05 

I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on the show.

 

Kyle  2:07 

No problem. That’s good. So yeah, thanks for joining me today. I’m really excited for this conversation actually. So why don’t you start off by telling us a bit bit about yourself and kind of who you are and where you are in terms of your education?

 

Hendrik  2:20 

Yeah, sure. So I originally moved to Australia about 10 years ago. So I’ve been here for 10 years. I studied originally at a different uni. So I’m studying now at the Queensland University of Technology here in Brisbane. And for several, probably several years, I struggled to get work. You know how difficult it is. But I eventually found this really great opportunity with CAD International, which is one of the major software resellers in Australia. So I’ve been fortunate enough to currently be working on bringing a new interior and kitchen and bathroom design software, also architecture. It’s called arch line XP. So I’m working in the business development side of building the company and getting clients getting the word out about our software, working with businesses and different partners and such.

 

Kyle  3:25 

That’s awesome. So yeah, you’ve obviously got a lot going on. But before we do get into kind of your work life as a business development manager at Academy International, and it also the interviews you do with the Australian designers with the KB di, could you first tell us kind of what it’s like studying your honors degree and how it’s any different to studying your bachelor’s?

 

Hendrik  3:49 

Okay, well, bachelor’s is kind of I’d say it’s a bit of an easier ride because in my first few years Like, I didn’t really take anything that’s that seriously, you know, like, they stopped everything quite easily and they kind of try to ease into the course. So like, the first few things you do are just kind of up in the sky. Yeah, in other words, but the later you get down the track, you know, they’re, the more skills you need to learn to actually get yourself into the industry. Because there’s a lot of skills that they don’t necessarily teach at university that are actually vital when you’re in the workforce. So, I mean, it’s really, it’s really a process of learning. It’s, it’s a long process of learning, and it’s definitely difficult. You know, like, they asked you to throw together a whole multi story building in a matter of a few weeks. So yeah, it can definitely be difficult and there’s a lot of learning involved.

 

Kyle  4:56 

Yeah, that’s good. Would you mind getting into a guess a bit of the structure of degree. So do you still have the same number of classes as your bachelor’s? Or is there any more or less flexibility? I guess, in the work you choose to do, as opposed to the previous years?

 

Hendrik  5:11 

Yeah. So the work seems to be going more towards like construction, like understanding the construction of how the building is actually going up. At ki T, I found that, like they courses are, I think they have kind of a good balance between theoretical and technical. And so yeah, when you start off the structures, more conceptual, more, I guess you could say up in the sky, but sort of now the courses are definitely very collaborative. So you’re going to have to get used to working in a team of people and being able to work well with others. Because if you don’t, you’re gonna you’re gonna have a very hard time. Hmm, yeah, I agree.

 

Kyle  5:58 

I guess that’s the same with you. bachelors as well. But even more so in your honors, definitely. And so I guess what kind of time like what kind of time requirements are expected of you each week? Is the workload a whole lot more than the previous years is like just an exponential step up, I guess.

 

Hendrik  6:16 

Yeah. So it’s, it’s definitely a step up in your honors. Like you’re marked much more harshly than in previous years, at least in my experience. So yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s quite different. It’s a bit more difficult.

 

Kyle  6:34 

Yeah, definitely. And how do you find it balancing working for cat international while studying? Like, are there any noticeable strategies I guess you use to manage your time or is it just a matter of working super hard and working heaps of late nights?

 

Hendrik  6:48 

Right? Okay. Well, here’s the thing if you’re, if you don’t manage your time, and you’re like, it’s not about working as hard as you can That’s a problem most people make, they think it’s cool to sit in studio and work your butt off and to be, you know, tired The next day, but what most people are doing is not necessarily the right thing. And I think if you if you want to succeed in architecture school and pretty much anywhere in life, really, you have to, what I do is I have a huge, I guess, poster calendar in my room, and I kind of mock my days off with sticky notes. And I try to get a pretty good idea of my courses. And my, I guess, my work structure, and that kind of helps me to plan ahead. And also when you’re planning ahead, like it’s good to leave some time for things that are going to go wrong. Because more than likely, something’s going to go wrong. So it’s good to it’s good to plan for that. Yeah, I’m actually at the moment because I plan to, I was actually going to do student exchange. But I stopped, I decided not to do that because of my the work I’m doing at the moment. So I had to choose between that and the work I’m doing. So I’m actually on a break of a few months. And then I’m getting back into full time study load soon.

 

Kyle  8:22 

And so I just got to clarify you in, I guess, your fourth or fifth year then.

 

Hendrik  8:27 

So I’m in my honors year, my fourth year.

 

Kyle  8:30 

Okay, gotcha. I think I might be a little bit different here in essay, because you’ve got the three year bachelor program, which I’m sure you’ve got there as well. And then honors i think is a two year course. So you’ve got the fourth and fifth year. Is that the same over there in Queensland, or is it just that

 

Hendrik  8:48 

So here it’s a bit different, it’s actually just a year for honors and I think that’s only a cutie like not a lot of places actually offer honors. So for me, because I transferred it might be a little bit different. But basically we do this is actually the last year that the master’s degree is one year. This switching into two degrees. Oh, okay. Sorry. Two years. Yeah. So yeah, for me, it’s one year honors and then another year masters.

 

Kyle  9:18 

That’s cool. And so I guess then for someone who wants to do some casual part time work while studying in their later years of architecture, what advice would you have for someone to be able to manage that successfully?

 

Hendrik  9:31 

Okay, well, so the first thing about getting into the workforce is you just need to start with something, right? Whether that’s whether you’re bartending somewhere or you’re a waiter somewhere, whatever it is, you need to put that into your resume because it shows that you’ve actually worked somewhere and it kind of shows that you have some skills at least. So I’d say that’s a good way to start off because if you’re expecting to work in a huge firm, straight out of university, I think it’s going to be extremely difficult. And a lot of the designers I’ve actually been interviewing, they’ve told me, you know, cities are kind of a difficult way to go, when it comes to looking for work. So either you have to go for small firms, and try to build relationships with people. And be persistent. So after your first few times, you’re gonna start noticing that a lot of people are gonna say no, but if you just keep persisting through it, you’ll eventually be successful. And the thing is, there’s a lot of other ways to build up your experience. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be at an architecture firm. It could be at a drafting company. It could be at a kitchen and bathroom design company, because that all these places they saw I’m more open to accepting people. So there’s a lot of different ways you can actually build up your experience.

 

Kyle  11:09 

Yeah, I find it’s like having that supply and demand. When you’re finishing your degree, there’s gonna be hundreds of students going for the same architectural jobs. But yeah, if you’re going out to a kitchen and design company, they might get two or three resumes where you’ve got a much better chance of actually getting a job then and just getting your foot in the door.

 

Hendrik  11:27 

It’s one of those niche markets like you got to look at what everyone else isn’t doing. Because, you know, you’re gonna end up like everyone else if you do what everyone is doing.

 

Kyle  11:36 

Exactly. Yep. Hundred percent. So I guess moving on to the next question is looking back over your previous years, I guess what has been the most difficult or one of the most challenging things about architecture school

 

Hendrik  11:50 

writes, um, so for me, I had I had quite a difficult experience moving to Australia because was when we were here, my dad actually lost his job. And then they decided to move back to South Africa. So I kind of decided to stick it out in Australia. And that was extremely difficult for me. Because I was basically relying on student loans and like a few dollars to try and get by. And then also the fact that I was trying to balance my study load with, you know, trying to figure out how I was going to pay my rent for eight weeks. So that was extremely difficult. And also, being in the course you know, trying to try to manage your study load trying to get ahead. You know, all the pressure that they put on you, they sort of make you believe, like you’re, you know, they kind of wipe you out in your critiques like they have no mercy. So, I think over time, the way for me To overcome these things was to build confidence in myself. And in my critiques to understand that design is subjective. So if your tutor is making you believe that, you know, your design is crappy, you know, go do it over five more times, you know, they’re not necessarily right. And a critique is actually an opportunity that you get to present your idea. And maybe help people come to your side of the fence and help them understand how your design actually works. So I think it’s, it’s building that self confidence in yourself. Also, don’t be egotistical. Because in that way, you know, you think if you think you know, everything you’re never gonna learn, and you’re pushing people away from you. So, I mean, those are the main tips I would give someone.

 

Kyle  13:52 

Yeah, that’s great advice and the fact that you’ve been through adversity I guess your adversities are what are going to make you stand What makes you successful over? Not over other students, but just giving you that edge? I guess? Yeah, that’s really cool. Coming to the completion of your degree. Can you tell us a bit about your plans for after you graduate?

 

Hendrik  14:14 

Yes. So I have plans for like the next more or less the long term. And I’m still working in the short term as to how exactly I want to get there. But the thing is, you don’t necessarily have to have everything figured out, you know, point by point. It’s sort of like going along and just having a vision for what you want to do. So for me, I’m looking at having my own sort of architecture property development company in maybe five or 10 years. So I’m, I’m kind of like a jack of all trades. You could say like, I’m Interested in a lot of things. So I really love design. And I love seeing how a building goes up. And you know what sort of things you can do to make it more livable for people. And then on the other hand, I’m I’m also in the software industries for I’m really passionate about this product that I’m bringing into the market because it’s sort of something completely new. And I want to build this company up to be successful, and I want to help small businesses and sole traders and all of that. But then, in the long term, I want to have my own company, that’s kind of what I’m working towards.

 

Kyle  15:38 

I love that idea that having a long term goal and then the short term isn’t as important because it’s those kind of just decisions. If you’re working hard and you’ve got that vision in mind of the long term, then you’re going to be able to make guess the right choices in the right time in that short term process. So saying that then, I guess Could you start tell us a little bit more about your job at CAD international and I guess a general idea of what you do on a day to day basis.

 

Hendrik  16:09 

Okay, so my job is essentially being stressed

 

Kyle  16:15 

out. That’s fun.

 

Hendrik  16:18 

Yeah, it’s, I mean, it’s very stressful. You can imagine starting a business, essentially by yourself. Obviously, I’ve had international support, but it’s it’s pretty difficult starting a business. So my, my job role, I guess, official job role is business development, and marketing and sales. So basically, what I do is I’ve I created our website, I do online advertising, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, tutorial videos, you know, social media, building relationships. with our partners, building relationships with clients, email campaigns, so all of that stuff,

 

Kyle  17:10 

The list goes on. That’s awesome. But having Well, those skills in particular, definitely going to be super helpful. Not just for CAD International, but then as well later on in life when you are running your own stuff when you are doing your, I guess your long term idea there. And that is quite a unique job as well, I guess. So. How do you think working part time has helped you as a student and as a person going into the world of architecture?

 

Hendrik  17:38 

Well, the thing is, it’s important not to try to close yourself into a box and think I’m an architecture students, so I should do things that architects do. I think it’s important nowadays, to think outside of the box and to try acquire as many skills as you can That could be useful for you. So I mean, in my in my job though, a few things that, you know, the few skills other than all the technical stuff I’m learning is to be able to deal with failure and rejection, because I go through that on a daily basis, like, you know, with different customers with different things not working out, like I expected, and being able to not take that personally and be being able to persevere in that. So I’d say that’s a really good skill that I’ve been able to learn so far.

 

Kyle  18:37 

Yeah, I love that. And how did you get the job? Cat international?

 

Hendrik  18:43 

It was actually quite a long process. Um, I was getting pretty desperate for work at one point, and so I decided, you know what, screw it. I’m gonna start handing out my resumes everywhere. Hmm. So it’s initially started at a bartender job, you know, like I was able to pick up a few skills here and there. And then over time, being rejected by so many people I was able to figure out, you know, what are they looking for? What are the skills that I need to be able to show them? So yeah, I was overtime, I was able to pick up the different skills and yeah, and eventually, after handing out like, you know, probably close to 100 resumes. Just everywhere, literally at the mall, I would mock out the, you know, the different stores happen to this one to this one. Yeah, and then out of nowhere, I got an email from them saying that they were looking for someone and you know, they were asking me a few questions about marketing and this and that, and because I already have been through that experience, And I’d already have been part of a few other, like a member of a few other organizations like the AIA Urban Development Institute, the Housing Association industry and all that. I was sort of able to pick up a pretty good idea of the market, you know, the property industry, the software industry, and you know, where everything is sort of heading. So I think that’s probably the thing that stood out to them the most,

 

Kyle  20:27 

I guess the idea there is that it wasn’t easy to get that first job. And yeah, learning all those different skills along the way. It’s, you know, a progressive thing. It didn’t just happen overnight. So I think that’s really, really, really cool. And I was looking at the website, actually, and you guys are advocates for a lot of different software companies and programs. And can I ask as a student yourself, what has been some of the most useful and predominant software that you use as as your yourself as a student?

 

Hendrik  21:00 

Okay, hopefully this doesn’t make all the big software companies angry. So the thing in my experience is I was basically studying the inside, inside out. He said, basically the full extent of the program Revit, which is what currently in Revit is good for. You have to it takes a long time to actually learn the program properly. And it’s very, very complicated in different aspects. I mean, there’s different software like SketchUp it’s simple and easy, but then again, it doesn’t have the documentation tools. And then there’s all kicad which, you know, a few people use it’s definitely pretty good all rounder but then again, a lot of these programs there’s a problem of needing which tools do you actually need, and which tools are you probably never going to use. So in my experience, arch line has been pretty damn good at small residential scale architecture. So it’s pretty good, you know, if you’re designing a house, doing an interior fit out, and you want to be able to document that, and do all the practical technical stuff. So in that regard, Arslan is pretty good. If you’re going to design a huge building, and you know, you need all your BIM stuff in place, then it would be well worth learning Reddit. It takes a lot of time to actually learn it. So that’s the only that’s the only con i guess

 

Kyle  22:47 

i want to talk about. Like moving on. I want to talk about the interviews from that you did I guess with the beat kbd kitchen and bathroom design Institute, I believe. Could you tell us a bit more about the series Have interviews you guys have done?

 

Hendrik  23:01 

Yeah. Okay, so I’ve done about six or seven interviews so far with top designers in the industry. Like de hench, sorry, di Henschel, Lisa, Kitchen Gallery. All boardroom gear. From what I can remember, you can check it out on our podcast, but there’s a few.

 

Kyle  23:25 

And what was the name of your podcast again, so the viewers know that.

 

Hendrik  23:28 

And so the podcast is called the KB design podcast. And you can find it on SoundCloud. Google Podcasts and also Apple podcasts.

 

Kyle  23:40 

Awesome. I’ll put a link to that as well. What do you think was some of the most important things you learned from doing those interviews and talking to these professionals in the kitchen and bathroom design? Kind of weld?

 

Hendrik  23:55 

Okay, if I cuz I have to probably keep it short. The main things they they were really talking to me about that seemed to help them all in their business starting their own business is because a few things. First of all, if you’re starting your own design business, it’s all about mindset. So it’s about having a vision for yourself and being able to execute, even though you might have a few failures in the beginning, and even though things are very difficult at the start. It’s sort of like a graph. It’s extremely difficult at the beginning, and it’s hard to overcome all those obstacles, but eventually, like it sort of gets easier. So that’s the one thing they talked to me about. And also, the other thing has to do this is quite a significant thing that I think a lot of people have trouble with, especially in the architecture industry is eager I’m being egotistical. And being a horrible person. I’m not saying everyone’s like that. But I’m saying that that’s definitely a problem in the industry that I can see from the logical operations. And the thing that I’ve seen about all day businesses is the way that they work. They’re very, very collaborative, and cooperative. And they actually provide immense value to their customers, because of the way that they work with them. They’re not focused on Oh, what’s going to make me look good and make my company look good. They’re actually thinking about taking the client through the process. And in the end, it’s all about the client. It’s not about how important you think you are, how many cocktails, cocktail parties you attend, how you dress. In the end, none of these things matters. And it’s all a mental thing. Like it’s all Being able to get paused, you’re eager to be actually to actually be able to succeed. Because that’s the I think that’s the one thing that holds, that holds people back. Because that’s, you know, they see in, in the media, or it’s cool to be a badass or a bad boy and, you know, to treat other people badly and to lie and to manipulate people. And I think that’s completely the wrong way to go.

 

Kyle  26:23 

Yeah, I agree completely. And, yeah, the media is definitely not helping with that. So, um, we are running out of time, but I’ve got a couple more questions for you. If you could give one piece of advice to some architecture students out there to help them succeed, what would it be?

 

Hendrik  26:43 

Look it would be to do something that you’re passionate about. So if you find that architecture is not for you, it’s perfectly okay to say you know, maybe this is not for me, maybe I should go try something else. But if you’re if you’re actually passionate about architecture and it’s something you see yourself doing. I think it’s worth to, to have belief in yourself and to surround yourself with the right people, people who actually support you. So, you know, if you’re in an environment where people are backstabbing you and people not actually supporting you put yourself out there and try to connect with the right people. Yeah,

 

Kyle  27:24 

yeah, that’s great advice. So finally, I guess if someone can find out or wants to find out more about you and cat international and the work you guys doing with these podcasts and everything, what’s the best way someone can contact you or find out more about you?

 

Hendrik  27:40 

Okay, so you can email us at [email protected] if you have any queries about software, or whatever, and then we also have our website currently up and running. It’s the auto loan website which is AR ch l i n e dot xp.com.au. So that’s Australian sides. So that’s four arch lines for interior design for architecture, building design, sort of small to medium scale stuff. And then our software website is cad.com.au. And we also have an Instagram page, which I can’t remember the name of. And our podcast is the KBC design podcast, which I think people should definitely check out because it has a lot of great tips.

 

Kyle  28:35 

Yeah, I myself would check that out. And all those links and everything. There’ll be in the description of the podcast of the YouTube video that that’ll be up. So yeah, if you guys want to check out Hendrick, it’s a great, it’s got a lot of great things going on. So it’s worth checking out. Well, thank you so much. It’s been an absolute honor. And I really appreciate you being on the show, man.

 

Hendrik  28:58 

Awesome. Thank you. I’ve enjoyed it so much.

 

Kyle  29:00 

Now come on, how good was that? If you guys enjoyed the episode, please do leave a like and please leave a comment, letting us know your thoughts about the episode. Make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel. If you’re listening to this on Spotify or iTunes or Apple or wherever you’re listening to it on. Be sure to leave us a review on that platform. And yeah, thank you guys so much. I really enjoy just the fact that I can hear about some feedback from you guys. And I really appreciate you guys taking the time out your day to listen to me talk listen to Hendrick talk and yeah, I really do appreciate you guys. I just wanted to say that so until next time, take care and peace.

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Resources Mentioned

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ARCHLine.XP: https://www.instagram.com/archlinexp_cad/

CAD International: https://cad.com.au/

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