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Working lives

Rob Cundy, 26 is a Part 3 architectural assistant at Colwyn Foulkes and Partners Route to job I left school with A level maths, physics and art and went to Newcastle University, where I studied architecture. Despite the rigours of the course, I still found time to pursue my leisure interests, especially mountain biking, while developing an interest in mountaineering.

After completing my Part 1 course, I spent a year out working in a small Huntingdonshire practice gaining invaluable experience in detailing and job running.

I completed my Part 2 at Newcastle in 1999 and have now been working at Colwyn Foulkes and Partners for a year.

Since school I have been a keen cyclist and the years at university allowed me to broaden my interests with the mountaineering society. I had regular opportunities to take trips to Scotland and further afield (including two trips to the Swiss Alps) both cycling and mountaineering. I have regularly competed in orienteering style mountain bike races, in which you decide your own route.

Expectations After leaving university, I was looking for experience in a larger office and the responsibility of running smaller jobs. A strong commitment to my professional development from my employers was important, as well as a realisation that we all have interests outside of the workplace.

The reality At Colwyn Foulkes my day to day responsibilities include running my own jobs, as well as working in a team on the larger projects within the office. The work is fairly demanding and finding time to train can be difficult. The company is very happy for me to cycle to and from work, providing secure storage for my bike and changing facilites.

I have recently returned from a Polaris orienteering competition, which was held over two days in Exmoor. Although the final placing was slightly lower than hoped (87 out of 214), it was a welcome break from the pressures of office life.

Advice With the increasing demands of the workplace, I feel that 'playtime' is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Even with the most hectic schedule, time can be made to enjoy sporting activities, which in turn benefits your work by making you more relaxed.

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