Steven Drake

North Walsham High School 
10 GCSE's A-C Grades

Paston Sixth Form College
A-Level Art, Business and Mathematics 

Oxford Brookes University
BA(Hons) Architecture

Who do you work for, and what projects have you been involved in? 
I currently work for SMG Architects. I have worked on numerous projects during my time with SMG Architects, throughout Norfolk. I have designed sports pavilions for Gresham School, many domestic projects, and most notable of all I have designed and project managed 3 projects for Paston Sixth Form College over the past 3 years. These have been a new Student Centre, Scarburgh Science Centre as well as The Griffon Studios and Theatre.  
 
What is a ‘typical day at work like? 
This would usually involve the conceptual or technical design of a project proposal, liaising between the clients and builders as required. This design process would usually combine both hand drawing and CGI. 

Alternatively my day might require visiting construction projects I’m managing, checking to ensure the construction standards are maintained and specific client requirements are fully realised.


What did you study at Paston? How did that course help you progress upon your career path? 
I studied Art, Business and Maths. Architecture is a combination of Business, Art, Maths, Science, Sociology and many other subject areas, therefore making the choice of specific courses difficult. Art was a keen interest of mine and still is. This certainly assisted with the creative element of my current job. Being able to delineate an idea or concept during a meeting certainly assists the design and construction process. Business on the other hand showed an interest in a larger subject area; refining essay writing skills, and creating a better understanding of business, business structures and people management.
 
What are the important skills you have had to develop and hone to be successful in your job? 
Hand drawing, technical construction detailing and people skills. 

Did you ever envisage doing this while you were at Paston? 
It was always my intention although I was unsure it would be fully realised, but my teachers at Paston certainly made me feel it was possible. 

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating? 
After leaving Paston Sixth Form College, I started to look for work.  I was taken on as a trainee with SMG Architects and then studied for my degree whilst working . If you are looking for a career in architecture outside the traditional university route, focus on the creation of a sharp, diverse portfolio, research architects and don’t be afraid to make yourself known to all local and potentially national practices. 

"It was always my intention although I was unsure it would be fully realised, but my teachers at Paston certainly made me feel it was possible. "