Jacqueline Wang – How Dundee got me to where I am now
Published on 23 May 2022
Jacqueline, MArch Architecture alumna who graduated in 2018, reflects on her time at Dundee and how it helped to get her to where she is now.
Jacqueline remembers making her decision to study at Dundee like it was yesterday.
“I found out about the University of Dundee through the University Orientation conference for High Schools. I have to say that Dundee appeared a very attractive city, but I wanted to do some of my own research before accepting the offer.
“I really liked the academic schedule and the content of the degree, from looking on the web pages. I also found that according to statistics, graduates of Dundee had a high employment rate. My third reason for choosing Dundee was that it is a ‘University town’ – the academic environment is very strong, and it is a great place for new students to start their own fresh, independent journeys, it provides great opportunities.”
It is safe to say that everything about Dundee and the course itself, did not disappoint Jacqueline.
“I enjoyed many nights spent in the library making physical architectural models and doing drawings. I would grab a coffee with classmates before heading to lectures. And the course was very sociable too, after tutorials the tutor and our class would go for a drink at a bar on campus to continue talking about work, our understandings about architecture as a whole and to discuss career interests and opportunities.
“There were also annual study trips, where tutors would travel with students to other locations around the world to study the local culture and architecture – those trips were thoroughly enjoyable.
“I studied architecture, which is so much more than just designing buildings. It is also about learning to create new possibilities of life, understanding human behaviours and how new behaviours affect and shape our lives. It was such an interesting topic to study – it really brought me to think about human beings, their interactions, and the meaning of life, as well as architectural design.
“Dundee is a small city that is full of love and peace – I love everything about it. When I arrived at first, I found it a little difficult to express what I was meaning in English, but my tutors and my classmates were very patient with me and really helped me to overcome this. There were also a lot of work opportunities within the University setting too, I worked as a Student Ambassador and worked part-time in the catering department of the Union. All of these opportunities helped me to meet many friends and to participate in interesting activities.”
Since graduating from Dundee, Jacqueline has returned to China, working as an architect in Beijing.
“After graduating from Dundee, I found a job as an Architect with China Construction Engineering Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd.
“As part of my work, I had the honour to participate in the whole process of designing the China Pavilion of Expo 2020 in Dubai, which was very exciting. This project was a challenge for me as such a fresh graduate at that time, but it gave me a lot of valuable experience.
“From scheme design to construction landing, I acted as the architect and was also responsible for communication and coordination with the construction and supervision teams along with the client. A complete understanding of the true implementation of a project requires everyone's painstaking efforts to come together. Seeing the successful opening of China Pavilion made me feel that everything and all of those efforts were worthwhile – it was a fantastic project to have been so heavily involved in.
Jacqueline recently received a certificate from China Expo as a thank you for her active contributions to the preparation of the Chinese Pavilion at the Dubai Expo.
“It was really exciting to receive the certificate, I think it is proof that hard work will pay off in the end. A big thanks has to go to the University of Dundee for helping me to grow, and for helping me to achieve what I did in this exciting project.
“Working as an architect is a very enjoyable job. Day to day, I am normally working on three or four projects at the same time. During the day, I spend most of my time communicating effectively with different sides of the project and everyone involved in the various steps. It is vitally important to accurately understand the needs of clients and then to clearly express my plans, in order that everyone is working efficiently and to reduce the duplication of work.
“During my evenings, based on the results and communications from during the day, I will spend time drawing the required sketches, building 3D-models and preparing various reports, ensuring that everything is in place for the various deadlines that we need to adhere to within a project.
Reflecting on how Dundee has got her to where she is now, Jacqueline said,
“My five years of studying at the University of Dundee have played an important role and been essential for my career. It allowed me to learn the acquired knowledge on all aspects of the course. I found that the course was arranged in a great way too, each semester, you work through design problems with tutors, who help to guide you through the projects. This really helped me to quickly adapt to a faster pace of work.
“Due to the difference in the educational system between my home country of China and the UK, it takes five years to study for a degree in Architecture in the UK, which is three years less than if you were studying the equivalent course in China. This essentially means that I will be eligible for promotions at a younger age now, and as a result I will be able to further my career, sooner.
“Moving to Dundee alone to take on my studies and spending five years in the city, helped me to grow into an independent person. I’m not afraid of facing problems and finding solutions for them, which is a great help to my current work and life.”
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