What’s after uni? Where Owen took his landscape architecture degree

QUT graduate Owen Cafe shares three tips that helped him land a job in his field within his first year.

Like the name suggests, landscape architecture is the design of outdoor areas, connecting green spaces to us. Landscape architects create natural habitats and bring balance to the metropolitan environment. These help create natural habitats, shade hot city streets and create pleasant micro climates. 

From the start, landscape architecture just spoke to Owen. 

“I feel a strong moral responsibility to do whatever I can to impact positive cultural and environmental change within the world,” he said. 

“Landscape architecture sits at the precipice of collaboration between the sciences and planning, the perfect realm to impact change.”

Owen is now a graduate landscape architect at VEE Design in Brisbane. He assists in the design and documentation of landscapes at the junction of community, private and environmental interests.

He has worked on a few major projects to date, including the West Village Commons and the Lismore Plateau development, which required high levels of cultural sensitivity due to the importance of the site to local Indigenous communities.

“I strive for positive impacts for people and the environment,” he said.

“That was something incredibly important to me, so to have the opportunity to work so closely with designers who genuinely cared about the cultural significance was a brilliant and inspiring learning experience.”

Here are Owen’s tips to land a job within the first year of graduating:

1. Connect with industry
“Landscape architecture is lucky enough to have very friendly and committed groups, external to QUT, that are eager to develop connections with students. However, the landscape staff at QUT also constantly connect students with industry. I took advantage of this as was able to gain employment at the end of my first year in the course.”

2. Challenge yourself
“University as a whole was an incredible experience at QUT. The opportunity to both challenge myself and be challenged in my thinking and commitment to my passion made me grow not only as a designer but as a person.”

As a result of Owen’s passion to go the mile during his studies he was one of a select few students nominated students nominated for the prestigious 2019 Karl Langer Award, helping him stand out to prospective employers. 

3. Be flexible and take on feedback
“As landscape architecture sits at the precipice of collaboration between the sciences and planning it is the perfect realm to impact change. The course at QUT broadened my thinking in ways I can barely explain. Learning to take criticism in a positive way and taking on board ways to improve are invaluable skills within the workplace.”

If you’re interested in learning more about QUT’s landscape architecture course, make sure to view the course page to see what is involved.