Rajbir Samra 2003 – 2010

Rajbir was a student at Wolverhampton Grammar School between 2003 and 2010.


Rajbir currently works for Chetwoods Architects in Birmingham as an Architectural Assistant.

What have been your career highlights to date?
Working on a RIBA Design Competition called ‘Centenary Square’ which was a great opportunity to show my passion and ability within the workplace and I had the honour of working alongside Laurie Chetwood – owner of the firm I work for.

Did you always want to become an architect?
Throughout school, I was unsure until AS Level that I wanted to pursue a degree and profession in Architecture. I did a lot of research into different courses and accreditations which was the reason for keeping my options open and applying for a dual honours course – Architecture and Planning.

Did you do anything extra at school to aid your choice and application for university?
Yes. One of my greatest sporting achievements was to run the ‘Coast to Coast’ challenge, with 16 weeks intensive training beforehand! I loved Music – playing the piano and trumpet, as well as singing. It meant I had the opportunity to perform with the Senior Choir, Senior Concert Band and was lead singer in Big Band. I was also a School Peer Supporter and Senior Prefect.

How have the skills you learned during your Art A Level course assisted you?
The Art A Level has prepared me for my architectural degree through meeting tight deadlines and expanded my creativity and imagination. There is a key cross over between Art and Architecture with various similarities. Although, the Art & Design A Level course was directly focused on Fine Art through drawing and painting, this has been applied through my architecture work.

What have been some of your favourite moments/memories of School?
Doing Art A level and having the possibility of expressing myself through painting and all the musical activities.

What made you decide to come to WGS?
The reputation and standard of the school is outstanding and recognised not only throughout the UK but worldwide. My brother and sister also attended WGS and speak just as highly of their School experiences as I do.

Where do you think you career path will take you?
I am currently undertaking my RIBA Part 2 Master’s degree course in M.Arch Architecture at Birmingham City University, whilst working part-time for Chetwoods Architects. I hope that once I am accredited and become a chartered architect it will globally be recognised. I strive to become a Director of an architectural company or set up my own practice once I have gained more years of experience.

Are there any particular teachers that inspired you and why?
If I’m honest, most of the teachers at WGS were/are very inspiring and positive, however Mr Millichamp has stood out for me personally. He was my class tutor in Year 7, whilst it was his first class at WGS, and throughout has been my Art teacher till I went to University. His skills as an artist and teacher are truly inspiring and outstanding. Also, Mr Proverbs and Mr Pawluk have greatly inspired my musical capability. Mr Proverbs gave me so many opportunities to showcase my talents during events through Big Band, Senior Concert Band, Senior Choir and Fella A Capella.

What advice would you give our current students?
When undertaking A Levels always do something which you personally enjoy. Have a clear career path but make sure you have a healthy balance between what subjects you need for the university course (or any other route you wish to go down) and personal enjoyment. You’re more likely to do extremely well in subjects that you really enjoy! Also, university isn’t the correct route for everyone, there are so many additional options such as apprenticeships which may be the career path for you.

Additionally, if any students are undertaking an Architectural Degree, don’t be fooled by the myth of a 7 year degree course. Currently, that’s to become a chartered Architect (5 years study – 2 years paid placement), however there are so many other routes after the BA course such as Landscape Architecture, Planning, Property Development, Graphical Design and etc.  You can become a chartered Architectural Technologist in 4 years! There are so many options!


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