“Being able to financially support myself whilst studying is crucial to continue with higher education.”

“Being able to financially support myself whilst studying is crucial to continue with higher education.”

Milena Vasileva headshot

Milena is an Architectural Assistant at Whittam Cox Architects. She is currently studying on our MArch Architecture degree apprenticeship.

“The MArch Architecture degree apprenticeship was introduced only a year before me undertaking it, with my cohort being the first one at Sheffield Hallam. I was already working in practice when the degree apprenticeship was announced, and this perfectly aligned with my intention of working whilst studying.

“For me, being able to financially support myself whilst studying is not only an added benefit of the apprenticeship but also a crucial condition for my ability to continue with higher education. I imagine this is the case for many others, especially in a field where the route to qualification is so long.

“My role involves supporting the team with the production of architectural drawing packages, whilst applying my knowledge of various design software. I often work on more than one project which requires me to approach tasks with diligence and retain a high level of communication.

“Learning and development are embedded within Whittam Cox Architects, with the organisation supporting several people during their studies. An apprenticeship is considered particularly valuable as students can transfer knowledge between academia and the industry.

“During the apprenticeship, I have advanced my design software skills, which is something I use daily. The course agenda has fostered a deeper understanding of architectural processes and independent thinking which has proven to be extremely helpful at work.


“Balancing work and university can be challenging, but the time management skills that I have gained as a result is crucial for managing a list of tasks and deadlines in the workplace.”


“The degree apprenticeship has equipped me to think critically and ambitiously – both in terms of architectural design and work ethics. As a result, I can think about how to positively impact the profession, but also consider the reality of implementing this. This is a very empowering feeling.

“I am looking forward to qualifying as an Architect whilst still developing research skills in my free time. I have a genuine interest in the sustainable future of architectural work, both in its environmental and social capacity. My interest is process driven and I believe that architecture can be a place of action for much bigger issues.”

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