Coming straight from University I was determined to get onto a well-recognised, leading graduate scheme in an industry that was fast paced and growing. Barratt Developments are the biggest house builder in the UK, with a number one ranked graduate programme aimed at supporting individuals to become future business leaders. Coming from a Business degree background I was attracted to the exposure the schemes offers, allowing each graduate time spent within all disciplines to gain a complete understanding of the organisation as a whole. In addition, my pre-interview research highlighted the scale and quality that Barratt operate at, and I felt excited to work on a product that is second to none in terms of importance to end user.
With all of this in mind I made sure I was prepared to compete to get my place on the scheme, completing several interview stages, from initial application to assessment centre and final interview.
Every day is different for me – which is great! The rotation aspect of the scheme means that one week you could be out on a construction site, hard hat on, assisting a site manager oversee and inspect the work of hundreds of tradesmen and women, and another taking part in a meeting with our architects and engineers having my say on the design of future developments. There is a great balance between getting time to observe and learn and getting stuck in with real, time sensitive, tasks.
The scheme operates over two years, the first year is made up of six, two month rotations that give you experience in all the core departments; Land, Technical, Commercial, Construction, Finance and Sales. During this time, you follow a set programme of tasks dedicated to giving you an insight into everyone’s job roles, the key targets and challenges of the team and the overarching connections linking the six departments. The second year allows you to specialise and is tailored to one of the aforementioned functions. At this point you take on an active role within your chosen team and start refining your knowledge and skills in ultimate preparation for taking on a job at the end of the programme.
The biggest highlight for me personally has the been the opportunity to Project Manage a charity challenge called Million Makers – an annual, country-wide, fundraising competition run by The Prince’s Trust. The entire graduate cohort is tasked with raising as much money as possible, from an initial seed funding of £1,500, that will go towards supporting disadvantaged young people get into education and work. Our enterprising, team working and communication skills are put to test as we coordinate activities and events, whilst being based from Aberdeen to Exeter. The level of responsibility we are given to generate and test ideas, all whilst working towards supporting such a worthy cause has been motivating, rewarding, and something I will definitely take with me as I progress throughout my career.
Some of the events we are running include a 60 person hike of The Yorkshire Three peaks, completed by all Barratt Development employees to celebrate our 60th Anniversary, and a seminar and networking evening, called BuildAbility, that aims to shine a light on how we can encourage those with a disability into a career within construction.
The best thing for me about my job is the opportunity to spend time in every department, and as a result get to know everyone in my divisional office. The advantage of this is apparent the more I move through my graduate programme and realise how well placed I am to chase information, solve multiple departmental problems, and liaise with a number of different personalities and fields of expertise.
The scheme has been great in offering a number of training opportunities in addition to those offered on a day to day basis. They each have a specific focus, from project management to business development, and always include an element of time spent with the graduate cohort giving us time to catch up and socialise.
The Barratt Development’s ASPIRE Graduate Scheme has been a fantastic source of support, career and personal progression. The scheme enables us to operate as a graduate cohort, experiencing the two years as a team, based from all over the country. We regularly meet up for specialist training days, team building courses, and also get the opportunity to work on charitable projects together. All of this means we are able to share advice, concerns and in the future remain together as key contacts within the business. Outside of this, no other large house builder offers the scale as well as the quality that Barratt Developments do, meaning you can get involved with high end design, industry leading construction methods, all whilst having the chance to work nearly anywhere in the UK.