I am currently on the Crest Nicholson rotational Graduate Scheme.
Over the past six months I have predominately spent my time in the Planning department and have assisted the Land Buyers in completing planning appraisals, producing reports, attending planning committees and making visits to potential sites, determining their planning viability.
The variation of tasks that my role offers is really exciting.
|Employer||Crest Nicholson PLC|
Which company do you work and what do they do?
I work in Crest Nicholson PLC’s development department which is an amalgamation of land, planning and design departments.
Each department liaises with each other via the development department from the point of identifying a potential site.
Together they discuss and analyse the suitability of the site, the design of the scheme and work together during the planning permission process.
Following a project from commencement to completion is really rewarding.
What education route did you take from secondary school to where you are today?
I don’t think either a specific degree or construction qualifications were essential requirements, but my RICS accredited MSc in Planning, Design and Development from UCL definitely helped.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I enjoy construction project management and taking responsibility for a project. In doing so, I'm able to establish a rapport and relationship with numerous internal and external players. Following a project from start to finish is really rewarding.
The variation of tasks that my role offers is really exciting. In my department it is often required to deal with queries relating to historical developments which is often challenging and requires a keen eye for detail.
When you resolve a query and come to a conclusion it's really satisfying - one of the best things about working in construction.
Why did you choose a career in construction?
I have been enthusiastic about property for as long as I can remember, from the point of building mansions out of Lego to watching Grand Designs or reading the local property papers.
At school I became more interested in the markets and politics surrounding housing which encouraged me to focus my BA Geography dissertation on housing markets and then study for my MSc.
During my MSc I especially enjoyed the logic that was required for planning, from establishing the policy documents that could determine not only the likelihood of a site achieving planning permission but what could be built on that site and fundamentally, the role planning plays in adding value to a site. So I've always kept an eye on careers in architecture and construction industry jobs.
What would you say to someone thinking about a career in construction?
Gain an accredited degree, the knowledge from this alone will help you at interview.
In regards to planning, there are various planning committees that can be attended by the public in your local authority. The experience from these can provide a talking point at an interview and provide you with invaluable knowledge of how the system works.
Gain some experience. A week working at a local authority or a summer scheme with a consultancy may hold the key of how to get into construction. I didn’t have any experience and reflecting back on my interview, despite being fortunate enough to receive a job offer, I think this could have really helped as it gives your degree knowledge a practical context.
If you haven’t already done so, when possible, focus your major research project/dissertation on something that relates to the housebuilding industry. There are not many opportunities to spend 3-6 months researching a specific topic and in doing so you gain knowledge of the policy, legislation and guidance around this subject that can inform elements of your career.
Subscribe to a publication regarding your field of interest, these provide a weekly update that is vital in this ever changing and fast moving industry.
Learn about some of the misconceptions surrounding construction jobs and construction apprenticeships with our Mythbuster