Meet one of our young members of staff, @Victoria Richardson, as our team share their stories over the coming months.
My name is Tori, and I joined the Gladman team in September 2018 as a business apprentice. At 20 years old, I am Gladman’s youngest employee and an aspiring town planner.
What is your background? How did you come to work at Gladman?
After completing A levels in Spanish, Maths and History, I decided to defer my unconditional offer to study at the University of Birmingham to join Gladman in their new business apprentice role.
What is the Business Apprenticeship? How was your experience?
The business apprenticeship is a year-long scheme where apprentices rotate around the company’s different departments. These include land acquisitions, projects and planning, topographical surveying, legal team, land disposals and accounts. Progressing through the business apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to expedite a wide range of tasks and experience different aspects of the land and planning industry, whilst enabling me to consider options for my future. Notably, I am so fortunate to work with colleagues who are willing to share their knowledge so I could benefit the most from the apprenticeship. Overall, the experience was invaluable as it has given me a unique perspective of business operations, a rounded understanding of the land promotion process and helped me to decide to pursue a career as a town planner.
What is your current role?
Currently, I work in the projects and planning team assisting on a variety of projects to ultimately achieve planning permission. I am also in my second year of the RTPI Planning Degree Apprenticeship at Sheffield Hallam University. Gladman have supported me in this degree, not only financially but also by providing me with a mentor and allowing me to balance study with project work. After achieving a 1st in the University Certificate, I am now completing the Advanced Diploma and looking forward to starting the MSc later this year and eventually qualifying as a Chartered Town Planner.
What is your favourite thing about working at Gladman?
One of the things I enjoy most about working at Gladman is the work culture. Even when working from home, the positive working environment from the office has been sustained. For example, we have entertaining team quizzes using Microsoft Teams and are encouraged to have coffee catch-up calls which helps everyone feel connected and part of the team.
What excites you about becoming a town planner?
I find it so exciting that planners can positively impact and shape places, which makes a real difference to people’s lives. In the context of the national housing crisis, planning for residential development is increasingly critical and indeed, as a young person the opportunity to contribute to improving affordability particularly interests me
Tell us about a few of your projects
I really enjoy the wide variety of work but one project I am currently working on is in Littlebourne, Canterbury. The project is in the early stages but we have begun a thorough engagement process with the Parish Council and local residents. Working with the landowners we are placing a strong emphasis on design so I am looking forward to seeing how this and local feedback will help shape the proposals.
Who inspires you at Gladman?
I am inspired by many of my dedicated colleagues at Gladman, but it is highly motivating to see women at a senior level within the business. As mentioned above, it is also great to work with people who want to see others succeed and share their knowledge and experience as this is particularly beneficial for junior members of staff.
Do you have any advice for people embarking on a career in your field?
Although I am still in the early stages of my career, I would say be inquisitive and enthusiastic. I think it is important to ask lots of questions to improve your understanding of the business and industry.