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Elaine Caroll placement at Foster + Partners

Elaine Caroll is a Careers Advisor for multiple schools across London. As a career advisor, she is committed to helping students explore their interests, and strengths, assisting them in making informed decisions about their future pathways. Elaine participated in the Teachers in Residence placement at Architectural firm Foster + Partners to gain a deeper understanding of that field to help guide students in navigating and choosing their career pathways.

Foster + Partners is a renowned architectural firm known for its innovative and sustainable design solutions that have shaped iconic structures worldwide. The firm is known for its pioneering architectural designs and has been involved in various high-profile projects around the world.

Teachers in Residence aims to place educators within industry to help bridge the gap between education and real-world organisations and companies. This is to ensure the right skills are being taught and that talented individuals are aware of fantastic companies to potentially begin their careers. 

Elaine learned about this opportunity through a webinar organised by the D&T Association. The placement aimed to provide educators with insights into the world of architecture and design to enhance their career guidance for students. Throughout the placement, Elaine explored various aspects of architectural design, including airport design, building infrastructure, and the urban landscape. She also gained valuable knowledge about the diverse career paths within the architecture industry.

Key Learning Points

One of the most significant takeaways for Elaine was understanding the seven year journey to becoming a qualified architect, which she found enlightening. She learned about the different stages of education and experience required, such as obtaining a degree, working in practice, and pursuing further studies. Elaine realised that this information was invaluable for guiding students who might be interested in pursuing a career in architecture. She also learned of the various branches that a student can go into during their studies.

During the placement, Elaine got insights into 3D modelling used in architectural design. She discovered that it played a critical role in creating and visualising designs, and she recognised its applications beyond architecture, such as film, television, and stage productions.

Elaine attended a presentation on equality and diversity during the placement. She appreciated how it highlighted the significance of inclusivity in the architecture industry and encouraged students not to limit themselves to specific architectural styles or roles.


Elaine expressed interest in fostering a stronger collaboration between her school and Foster + Partners for work experience opportunities. As a career advisor, she aimed to provide her students with practical exposure to architecture and design, and Foster + Partners’ work environment would be an excellent learning experience for aspiring architects.

Elaine’s Teacher in Residence placement at Foster + Partners was a transformative experience that broadened her understanding of architecture and design. The knowledge she gained about the architect’s journey and the role of 3D modelling will be valuable in guiding her students toward successful careers in this field. Moreover, the presentation on diversity and inclusion reaffirmed the importance of encouraging students from all backgrounds to explore architecture as a viable career path. By sharing her experiences and the insights gained during the placement, Elaine hopes to inspire and support her students in pursuing careers in architecture and related fields.