Sarah Earwaker, Architectural Graduate (Kaihoahoa Paetahi), first joined WSP in 2016 as a Summer Intern in Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington. Following completion of her university degree, she joined in her current role as a Graduate in February 2020 in Ōtautahi | Christchurch.
She said starting her career at WSP was a good decision, because she has had opportunities for growth through mentoring from more experienced colleagues and a diverse range of projects.
“I chose WSP to start my career because I have a passion for architecture and the built
environment, and so does WSP. It is a company with such a drive for success, providing
opportunities to work on some incredible projects throughout New Zealand.”
Sarah said she loves the environment she works in and the supportive network of people who continually help her with her development and progress toward becoming a Registered Architect.
“There are times I will come across an element of the design process that I have not yet
encountered before. This can make it difficult to understand the correct and most efficient
way to complete the work. During these times, I can work through the challenge and
discuss the correct approach with members of the team, who are always more than happy
to share their expertise with the Graduates in the office.”
Sarah highlights a day at work as a WSP Graduate:
I begin my workday with a commute on my bike. My house is only 2.5 km from the office, making it faster to bike than drive due to the rush hour traffic! WSP provides a secure bike storage area and shower facilities, making it a great way to get to/from work.
Today is Wednesday, which means it is time for our Architecture weekly webinar. Each week there is someone different presenting something new. This week it was a presentation on 4 different projects that have recently been completed: Rakiura Museum, Wellington East Girls College, Catholic Cathedral College, and St. Albans Catholic Chapel.
These webinars are a valuable way to share knowledge as well as learn and admire the work being done by our colleagues, both in our local offices and throughout the country.
One of the projects I am currently working on is two new schools for Allenvale and Belfast. This project is an exciting one, as not only is it a completely new build, but Allenvale is a school that provides specialist education for those who have a form of intellectual disability. It is an opportunity to design a space for their special requirements, while also navigating the spatial connections in colocation with Belfast School.
I am off to visit the site, which is currently an empty section in a new subdivision. We will explore the site with a number of other consultants involved in the project to understand how the site is affected by its surrounding environment and where it is situated within its local community.
Getting back to the office, I get stuck into the project. This is when I get to start putting pen to paper. I am getting ready for our first stakeholder engagement session, which will provide an opportunity to discuss the needs and wants that the schools would like to see implemented in the design.
At times throughout the year, the Architecture team will have a cooking competition. This Summer, our task was to split into 4 teams and host a themed BBQ. Today is our team’s turn. We have put together a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party spread. These friendly competitions are great team building with your colleagues, as well as super tasty!
Today I have another site visit to attend. This is for an additional project I am working on, which is to assess the security and crime risks of a new cycleway design in Charlesworth Reserve. This type of work is called crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). CPTED explores how design can be utilised to prevent crime and provide safer environments for our community.
This evening after work, a few of us from the office head to Christchurch Adventure Park for a mountain bike ride down one of the trails. A great way to wind down and enjoy some exercise at the end of the day!