Emily's Adventures

One month from now will I set off on my OE, but to be perfectly honest, it is not going to be easy leaving this cool place. So, I want to take this opportunity now to reflect on my time working at Pacific Environments Architects and how incredible it has been.

From day one I was welcomed right into the team, and I have continued to feel like a valued team member throughout my time here (despite saying that I am leaving for the second time now!). When I first I arrived, I was immediately struck by the effortlessly positive and friendly work culture. Everyone works really hard, but they can also so easily have a good laugh. For these reasons I have loved all of my time working here.

As students we often talk about ‘surviving’ architecture school as a big deal. It feels like you have overcome a huge hurdle. But shortly after you leave, you are reminded that the road to becoming an architect is only just beginning. When jumping from university to the office you quickly realise how different university work is to the ‘real thing’. At architecture school, we learn how to design and problem solve, but many of the practical elements of being an architect don’t become clear until you fully immerse yourself in the office environment. Sometimes this can make you feel like you have learnt nothing. For me, this only made me hungrier to learn!

That’s why being able to have a mentor in the office from the beginning was the most valuable thing that happened. In my case I worked with Lyn, and then Phil, who have been my main support base and familiar, friendly faces I can easily turn to for help. I was gradually challenged with more difficult tasks as I developed my skills. Working part-time as a student can mean that you receive the odds and ends of jobs. You often come in not knowing what you might be doing, or even sitting, but that was the fun of it. By having the ‘hot seat’ I would jump around the office meeting new people, having new conversations, and getting a taste for many different projects. As a naturally quiet and shy person I felt like this was the perfect setup to get me going.

Pacific Environments has become like a second family that I am going to miss very much. I am going to miss all of the friendly faces every day, and not to mention all the brilliant delicious shouts. I think it is going to be a hard task finding a place as good overseas!

I chose to take my OE now after graduating with my Masters degree this year. I realised that now was the perfect time to embrace a moment to stop and do some things that have been on my mind, before continuing to work. I will be starting my adventure with a 3-week trip to Morocco, a place that I have been inspired to visit since a young age by listening to the many stories my grandparents told me. I am then going to become an Au-Pair in Annecy, France. Again, another dream I have always had fueled by my love for French language and culture. Annecy is a medieval town located near the Swiss border and French Alps, and also known as the ‘Venice of the Alps’ due to the canals that run through the historic centre leading out to big lake Annecy. I will be looking after three very outgoing and sporty boys, which will no doubt prove to be both entertaining and challenging! Afterwards I would like to find a job in Europe or the UK to gain some overseas working experience, but apart from this, that is about all I have planned. My stomach now waits with nervous and excited butterflies!

We wish Emily all the best with her new adventures, and very much look forward to updates, and hearing from her again once the travel bug has passed and shes ready to call NZ, and PENZL, home again!

Pacific Environments is committed to architectural design excellence, creating inspiring 'fit for purpose' built environment solutions for our clients. 


Sustainability, lifestyle and the creation of enduring investment value is core to our design philosophy.

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