Ahead of the British Council for Offices (BCO) NextGen awards ceremony in November, the membership body has decided to offer free memberships to all undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking a course relevant to the property industry.
As well as setting standards for technical specifications in office design, the BCO is also a membership organisation that offers a range of networking and learning opportunities for professionals in the built environment. Students taking a course in a relevant field, whether chartered surveying, architecture or another aspect of workplace design, can now get free membership, allowing them to access the BCO’s extensive library of research and a range of networking opportunities
Students who want to join can apply online, filling in the form and getting a signature from their course leader as proof of participation in a relevant course. Students under the age of 35 can also take advantage of the full range of events and competitions run by the NextGen arm of the BCO, including building visits that showcase the work of leaders in the field.
Membership will provide students with access to the digital research portal, filled with the BCO reports and presentation material provided at research seminars. This includes the BCO Guide to Specification, a manual that becomes and essential once working in the office design sector, and other practical research from practitioners in the sector providing students with an insight into the working world rarely available for free.
Perhaps most valuable is the opportunity to meet people in the industry, both established figures and peers in different fields. Annabel Koeck, associate at Grimshaw Architects, told OnOffice that taking part in a BCO-run competition helped her build her personal network across sectors, giving her insights into surveying, engineering and more, and providing a useful network outside her immediate workplace to call on for advice.
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