Aleysha Stead always wanted to get into Architecture.

She dedicated her education to working in that field by studying Construction in the Built Environment at Barnsley College before achieving her degree in architecture at the University of Central Lancashire.

Fresh from university, Aleysha landed her first architecture job with Avant Homes and three years on is still as passionate as ever about her role.

We caught up with Aleysha to find out what it’s like to be an assistant architectural technician, her biggest lessons in her role so far and what advice she would give to aspiring architects. 

1. Tell us what a typical working day looks like

My job is fairly broad, so day-to-day my tasks can vary a great deal. There is no such thing as a typical day.

As an assistant architectural technician, I am always kept busy. I’m currently working across 14 live developments for the Central region as well as assisting in certain aspects of upcoming sites.

The office and sites are full of very friendly people, and it’s always great to have a bit of variety and see more of the team too.

2. Describe your role as an assistant architectural technician

I am very fortunate that I get to see the full process of a development from start to finish, as part of my role is to support in getting sites through planning approvals by producing layouts and drawings. It is really exciting to see a development go from a sketch on paper right through to production and build.

I also ensure that our site layouts and housetypes comply to the standards of our warranty provider and building regulations. While managing those developments I also assist with site, sales and customer care queries.

Every day is different. One day I could be looking at legal and conveyancing plans and warranty provider conditions and the next I could be doing general running of sites or looking over planning conditions, applications and queries.

3. What is the most rewarding thing about being an assistant architectural technician

The most rewarding part of my role is relaying instruction from a plan or drawing I have created and seeing it come to life.

Surprisingly, I never particularly thought that I would enjoy the legal side of my role, however it is something that has become on of the favourite parts of my job.

It is a hard process, which requires a lot of site knowledge both from an architectural and engineering perspective and I enjoy highlighting my findings on a plan and being able to make a decision on that plan based on this and my own judgement. Creating conveyancing plans and dictating ownership for years to come can be very empowering.

4. Describe the most challenging part of your job

For me the most challenging part of my job has been having confidence in myself.

In my team it is very fast-paced, as we are the hub department of our region and we must advise lots of different teams across the business, even though I’m just starting out in my career there can be a lot of questions and queries that need immediate answers.

It has taken time for me to build my confidence and having the belief I need in myself to address those hard questions, but it’s also important to accept that I sometimes don’t know the answers. Technical roles require a vast amount of knowledge and even after a lifetime in the industry there will always be something new to learn.

Also, being a young female in the industry has its fair share of challenges. Even though there are a lot more female architects in housebuilding than there once were. it can take courage to step into a male dominated career, despite what people might think.  As the only female architect and technical team member in the Central region it was daunting at first but as a team we really support each other.

I am very lucky to have a supportive team around me in the office and onsite, who respect me in my role, and encourage me to do well in an environment that a lot of women wouldn’t challenge.

Image of Aleysha Stead

5. What has been your biggest success so far?

My journey is very personal, I do not see being an assistant architectural technician as a job role, but as a part of who I am and my journey of always wanting to be involved in the industry and architecture.

I was recently promoted from a trainee to an assistant, which was a massive success to me, as it feels like after my training that I am being recognised as a valuable member of the team.

To be recognised by some very intelligent and talented individuals, which I take pride in learning and developing from daily, makes me feel really proud. I hope to one day be like them and continue my way up the ladder.

6. Tell us what you enjoy the most about working for Avant Homes

I would have to say the people. I love the people I work with and everyone around is great at their own role, which together makes us a really strong team.

We are divided into departments, but our office is very free flowing and we all link together in some way.

This is great for me, personally, because I can use this to gain further knowledge and learn from people as best I can and learn about different aspects within the industry not just my own speciality.

7. What has been your biggest lesson working in the technical team?

I’ve come a long way in my three years with Avant Homes, both professionally and personally.

I am the kind of person that puts a lot of pressure on myself to follow a plan and to achieve certain targets, so my biggest lesson in my role has been to have more faith in myself and that the biggest lessons to be learned are those out of my comfort zone.

No day or challenge is the same, so my main lesson is to accept that knowledge takes time and there is always room to improve, while also valuing myself. With that, hopefully the rest will follow.

8. Tell us what inspires you about working for Avant Homes

The most inspirational thing about working for Avant Homes is the recognition that everyone is different, and we are encouraged to be open and to communicate always. People at Avant aren’t afraid to have their say or challenge the system, which makes for a healthy and encouraging working environment. Where there is passion there is progress.

9. What advice would you give people looking to work in the housebuilding or architecture industry?

I have had my fair share of ups and downs, as there is a lot of responsibility, pressure and knowledge needed, and I won’t sugar coat it, it is challenging to work in architecture.

Being new in the housebuilding industry especially can be challenging with it being so fast-paced.

However, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love what I do and I am very passionate about it.

If I had to advise anyone it would be to have a bit of faith in yourself. Sometimes grades don’t reflect who you are going to be and it’s up to you to make what you can of it.

The most important thing to remember is no challenge is ever too great and if it doesn’t scare you, then it’s not big enough.

There is a role out there for everyone, especially in the housebuilding sector. Passion or a little bit of creative flare goes a long way too – just never give up!

Interested in becoming a part of the Avant Homes team like Aleysha? Head over to our careers page to see our current vacancies here.


by Avant Homes - 19 Jan 22