Year One

A 360-degree career accelerator program for new graduates

Your first year in the workplace should be a rich and rewarding experience—a time to connect with new people, gain critical skills, and build the foundation for your career going forward. The colleagues you meet in your first role can open doors and guide you on your journey. 

In 2018, SOM launched Year One—a program that allows our newest team members to get the most of their first year in the profession. The program is rooted in the culture of mentorship and knowledge sharing that defines SOM.

Year One is a pipeline for emerging talent: Each year we select a group of dynamic new graduates through a competitive application process, and then provide them with resources, mentorship, and support to thrive in their careers. A significant part of the program is focused on guiding new hires toward achieving their next career milestone: earning their professional license in architecture, engineering, urban planning, or interior design.

The Year One program allows those of us who have experience in the industry to offer our expertise and knowledge to people who are just starting out in their careers—and likewise to ask them to come to the table and have a voice.

Build your network, define your path

Year One is structured to give you the chance to explore many facets of the industry and gain a 360-degree perspective. You’ll join site visits around the city, be paired with a mentor, develop a research project, and get to know leaders across our interdisciplinary firm.

  1. Introduce yourself: At a kickoff event for new hires, you’ll have the opportunity to meet your new colleagues by sharing your personal projects, skills, ideas, and passions.
  2. Get involved: Attend a range of industry events, from international conferences to local seminars and workshops. We’ll keep you informed of architecture and design happenings around town.
  3. Site visits: Led by senior staff, you’ll visit buildings under construction around your city. It’s chance to deepen your understanding of architectural and structural details, constructability, and scale.
  4. Pathway to licensure: With your degree in hand, earning your license may be the next milestone in your professional journey. Our program of mentoring, workshops, and study planning will help keep you on track.
  5. Make new connections: Whether you’re auditing a client meeting or working alongside our experts, you’ll gain invaluable new perspectives on your own work and that of your colleagues.
  6. Research: Led by senior staff, a series of design charrettes—ranging from academic research to technical product development—will be fueled by your vision and creativity.

By connecting the members of each Year One cohort, we foster a spirit of camaraderie and curiosity, where all are encouraged to share their experiences and ideas. The program strengthens one of the defining characteristics of our firm: SOM is a place to continue learning once your formal education is complete.

There’s so much room for growth and exploration at SOM. The Year One program shows you all of these different avenues and lets you choose the path that interests you the most.

How to apply

The Year One program is a full-time entry-level position, open to recent graduates with one year or less of work experience. The application period for the 2024 program opened on February 12; applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

We’re interested in learning about you! Your application should communicate your passions and interests, as well as your skills and experience. SOM is a global collective of talented and passionate people―help us understand what you would bring to the table.

Your online application must include the following:

  • Statement of Interest (maximum 250 words)
  • Resume
  • Work samples (10-20 pages, PDF, maximum 5 MB)