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Catching up with Reem, our 2022 RIBA AHR Scholarship recipient

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by AHR


Last July, we were delighted to announce Reem Taha Hajj Ahmad as the recipient of the 2022 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) AHR Scholarship.

The RIBA scholarship provides Reem with personal mentoring by one of our architects, a four-week paid work placement at one of our offices and a £6,000 grant to go towards her studies. Six months later, we sit down with Reem to find out how it’s all going, what she’s enjoying most about the experience and what she’s looking forward to in the upcoming months.

Hi Reem. How are you finding your scholarship so far?

So far, it’s all going really well. I’m enjoying my meetings with my mentor David. I think it’s really helpful to have that connection to someone actually working in the industry. It’s like a reality check! Especially when thinking about my projects. I also really appreciate that at the start of my scholarship, my mentor asked me what I was interested in and what I wanted to learn about.

As a Part 2 student, you are still discovering the industry so you might not necessarily always know what to explore. I’m grateful to my mentor for providing me with more insight into key parts of architecture that are also worth exploring.”

Reem Taha Hajj Ahmad

2022 RIBA AHR Scholarship Recipient

Reem is passionate about sustainability and recently spoke with director and head of sustainability Robert Hopkins, who shared his knowledge on the subject matter.

How did your meeting with Rob go?

I really enjoyed it. He provided me with a lot of great technical resources and directed me towards helpful websites that I haven’t come across before. He was incredibly insightful and helpful. I am currently working on a school refurbishment project, and it was beneficial to get to chat to Rob about this, who shared his knowledge of reusing spaces, advising me on how I can repurpose the school and reclaim the materials.

It’s great to hear you’re finding these sessions beneficial to your work. How would you say these are helping you to become a better architect?

On a personal level, knowing that in the industry there are architectural firms that care about aspiring architects gives me hope and encourages me to keep going. It also instils a sense of hope within myself and how, as an architect of the future, I can help people.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying for the RIBA scholarship?

It sounds cliché, but just be yourself. Enjoy the interview; the panel is made up of lots of interesting people coming from a range of architectural firms, and it’s a valuable opportunity to have a discussion about architecture, what you’re passionate about and to ask lots of questions.

I remember during my interview, I was clear on what my goals for the future are and what I want to contribute to society as an architect. So I think as long as you’re clear on your goals and ambitions, you will stand out. Let your flair for the interest you have come through in your interview.

Excellent advice! What are you looking forward to next in your scholarship?

I’m really looking forward to my work placement. I think it will be really interesting to experience the workflow of the practice, the studio culture and how people work together in the office.

Knowing that in the industry there are architectural firms that care about aspiring architects gives me hope and encourages me to keep going.”

Reem Taha Hajj Ahmad

2022 RIBA AHR Scholarship Recipient

That all sounds very exciting.

It is! Another great thing about the scholarship is how accommodating AHR has been in welcoming me across all the offices in the UK and knowing that there are people that I can speak to for support.

Keep your eyes peeled for more updates as we’ll be catching up with Reem again after her summer work placement where she will experience the reality of working within an architecture and building consultancy practice.

If you’d like to learn more about what life is like at our inclusive and ever-evolving practice and how we support people throughout their employment, visit our careers page here.

Posted on:

Mar 6th 2023


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