There's a common belief that higher education is an individual's game, with communication between a student and their lecturers holding the key for success.
However, ask Master of Architecture student Carl Salas and the fellow students in Progressive Modelling Consultants (PMC) and you'll get a completely different answer. Launched in mid-2016, PMC is a student mentor programme where architect and landscape students come together to support each other's projects and develop various skill sets.
As one of the leaders in the programme, we sat down with fourth year student Carl Salas to learn more about PMC and what it offers Unitec students.
Wide and varied subjects
PMC works towards one of Unitec's main goals - to produce graduates who are work-ready. While the bulk of this knowledge and skills are cemented in the classroom, it's often the small things that can make the difference when you enter the work environment. As such, the PMC programme is all about fine-tuning the fundamentals.
PMC works towards one of Unitec's main goals - to produce graduates who are work ready.
"We help out students with everything from software programs and model making to one-to-one prototyping and presentation techniques/set-ups," Carl explained.
This also extends to more basic processes such as the proper way to layout and save work, in addition to ensuring files are the appropriate size for printing. Not only does this help students produce higher quality work while at Unitec, it's the skills that employers expect from graduates on day one.
Carl noted that a great example of this was one of the second year students who is in the New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology:
"He's great on Revit - an industry standard software for architects. He's also good on CAD and other computer-based software. These are good assets for PMC," he said.
"Run by students, for students"
Carl said that many students stay late at uni to finish projects and work on assignments, but when they run into questions and problems, there are sometimes no lecturers or tutors available to help. As such, PMC was formed to utilise the knowledge of students who were already staying late.
"I think every student finds it easier asking another student for help rather than a senior lecturer or tutor - for some people that's daunting. It's simple to go to a peer and say 'hey, we're working on the same project, are you able to help me out?'," said Carl.
PMC - providing student opportunities
Connecting with fellow students is an excellent way to build knowledge and skills, but it can also offer the opportunity to explore more industry-based experiences. Through PMC, Carl himself has had the chance to extend his contact network.
Working on the construction of an entrance pavilion for the Waiheke Island Sculpture on the Gulf, Carl and other students met up with architects and engineers in the field - learning more about timelines and budgets within industry.
"You couldn't get any more real-world than that project. You are working with real clients, building something that the public actually gets to walk through, touch and feel," Carl said.
Growing PMC in 2017
As PMC moves into its second year, the focus is on growing the number of students involved and creating an even higher level of collaboration. To help in this effort, PMC has launched a YouTube channel where students produce their own online tutorials and publish for the wider programme. This will hopefully help students from different years to come together and collaborate.
"Learning should be passed on from generation to generation," Carl said. "Having peers support you, you're able to go into the workforce with a much better understanding of what you're doing and offer so much more in the process."
If you're interested in applying for a programme in Architecture, reach out to our support team today!