I heard about the ASPIRE Programme at a University Careers Fair and applied for the role through the Barratt Developments dedicated online careers portal. The process involved an initial application form to which I attached my CV and answered a range of questions relating to my skills, experience and what challenges I thought I would face on the programme and how I would overcome these. Following this I was asked to complete various situational judgement and psychometric tests to determine specific traits and leadership potential before undertaking a video interview which tested my knowledge of Barratt and my commercial awareness of the wider industry. Finally, I received an invite to a one-day assessment centre, which included a number of exercises, such as individual role plays, individual written and presentation tasks, verbal and numerical reasoning test and a formal interview. On successful completion of the assessment centre I was then given the opportunity to meet with the Managing Director of the divisional I applied to before officially being offered the role.
After graduating I knew I wanted to work in the construction/ housebuilding industry but still wasn’t sure where I wanted to take my career. It was the overall structure and flexibility of the ASPIRE Programme that really won me over when applying for a role with Barratt. I didn’t apply anywhere else! Getting to experience every part of a business and then have the power to choose your preferred role is a privilege not many people get when starting out in their career.
Year 1 of the ASPIRE Programme exposed me to the 6 core operational disciplines of the business in order to gain broader insight into Land and Planning, Design and Technical, Commercial, Construction, Sales and Marketing and Finance. During this time, I was responsible for recording and reflecting on my learning and reporting progress to the Managing Director at the end of every 8-week rotation. I found the commercial management (quantity surveying) aspect of projects very interesting so in year two, selected commercial as my preferred discipline. Now a Commercial Graduate within our North Scotland division in Aberdeen it is the functions responsibility to measure the commercial performance of projects and the procurement of materials and trades required. My typical day to day activities include preparing tender and contract documentation, processing payment certificates to subcontractors, and supporting in the overall preparation and monitoring of budgets for all aspects of large sites including housebuild, external, marketing, maintenance and overheads.
The ASPIRE Programme offers a comprehensive amount of training days and during my two years will receive structured development in areas such as personal growth at work, project management, business development, communication and presentation skills and leadership.
A personal highlight for me would have to be the volunteer work I have been involved with for The Prince’s Trust. Every year, Barratt graduates enter the Million Makers Corporate Challenge which tasks participants to turn £1,500 seed funding into a minimum of £10,000. It is a fantastic opportunity to not only raise money for a worthy cause, but to challenge yourself personally on your skills in leadership, communication and decision making.
Although still fairly new to the business I am still given a large amount of responsibility and am trusted by my colleagues to produce the work. The rotations alone are a highlight because you get to see every bit of the business and there is nothing better than seeing a project from conception through to completion, producing a high quality product and making our customers happy along the way.
You face a lot of difficult challenges through-out the programme so it is very difficult to put my finger on just one. You have a fantastic network of people around you that support you every step of the way. At Barratt you are provided with a dedicated future talent team and through your training you get to build lasting relationships with your fellow graduates very quickly, making handling those difficult situations a little less stressful.
It sounds cliché but I like working for Barratt because of the people. From day one the door has always been open to questions and everyone within the business has supported my development, which I think is extremely important. The company also offers a comprehensive benefits package to all employees which allowed me to become a shareholder after only being with the business for 6 months.