Georgette Mourad – Senior Architect
Posted September 22, 2017, by Jenny Sakr
Georgette loves being around creativity and creating – working in architecture is a way she is able to apply that to her career.
As a senior architect at one of Australia's leading firms, Bates Smart, she has had the opportunity to work on one of Sydney's biggest projects in Barangaroo.
How long have you been in architecture?
Since 2006. I began working in the field whilst I was studying.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher.
What was your first job?
A crew person at McDonald’s.
When did you first know you wanted to get into architecture?
It was not until the senior years in high school that I considered it. I even enrolled in a Business/Law degree before changing my mind last minute for the final round of university offers.
Explain a typical day in the office
A lot of the day is spent answering emails and phone calls at this stage of the project (currently our company is working on the casino and hotel in Barangaroo – it's a huge project and I'm very excited to be a part of it)
What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you while working in architecture?
I have had the chance to work on some very significant buildings. Dealing with the people that will use these buildings and understand the contributions they will make to society is both interesting and fulfilling.
Name the best and worst parts of your job
All jobs have the capability to contribute something to the world on some scale. Being in a field that allows for a very sizeable, permanent and obvious contribution to be made is probably what I love about it the most. It is, if we do it right, art with a programmed purpose.
The worst part of my job would be the continuous back and forth that has to happen to get to the final product. It is inevitable and once you understand that it makes it a bit easier.
What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?
‘Get out there’ – I think this should be applied to every career and life in general. Career and personal development is so slow and limited when you are surrounded by the same four walls for too long.
What do you wish someone had told you before starting in architecture?
Do not take it too seriously and be transient.
Where do people have to start to get into architecture and what is a standard salary package for this industry?
At the time I enrolled, 2 units of mathematics was a prerequisite. Personally, I think that studying art, history, computational design and English would also help.
The path most architects take is studying a three-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, and then taking some time off to complete 18 weeks of mandatory work experience before enrolling into the two-year Master of Architecture. The Master’s is necessary if you wish to become a registered architect. As with any degree, majors and honors could also be integrated into the study path.
My personal journey involved studying the Bachelor of Architecture, majoring in ‘Digital Architecture’ and ‘Urban Design and Planning’. Upon completion of the Bachelor degree, I took a year out to work in the industry before going back to complete the Master of Architecture.
The starting salary for a graduate is approximately 45K. The average salary is around the 90K mark.
Name a career highlight
Working on a Frank Gehry building and being acknowledged in one of his books. I am not sure anything will top that.
What’s next for you?
Architecture is definitely something I love, but I would like to try and explore it in different ways. I’m not sure what that means for now, but considering myself as ‘being out there’ will hopefully keep me open to different opportunities.
Give yourself the right foundations to become an architect with a course in Architecture. Enquire today!
Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.