I joined Berkeley in August 2014 as a Land and Planning Graduate, in the South East London (SEL) division. I first came across Berkeley whilst studying at Oxford Brookes. I was extremely interested in the company after seeing the work Berkeley has achieved and the values the company holds.
I approached Berkeley regarding graduate positions whilst in my final year at Brookes. After numerous meetings and interviews, I obtained a role in the Land and Planning team in Berkeley Homes, South East London. Securing the role early allowed me to focus on my studies in the second half of my final year, whereas many of my cohort were spending significant amounts of time on lengthy applications, assessment days and interviews.
Working within the land department at South East London, gave me the opportunity to work alongside a young team of two chartered surveyors and three trainees like myself. The team covers everything prior to the company putting spades in the group on a development. My role includes opportunity identification, site acquisition, planning, design and a handover to the delivery team.
In recognition of my contribution since joining, I was promoted to Assistant Land Manager in December 2015. My role varies, from appraising new opportunities and preparing planning applications to liaising with the architects on detailed scheme design.
During my time at Berkeley, I have had the opportunity to work on a broad range of projects, the highlight being working in the three strong bid team on a 26 acre publically owned site adjacent to West Ham Station. This was a high profile acquisition for the Group, with the potential to deliver over 3,500 homes as well as a new school and entrance into West Ham station. I am now currently working on a planning application and further land assembly on a site on the Old Kent Road. The scheme is a regeneration project, with the potential to deliver 1,500 units, capitalising on the anticipated delivery of an extension to the Bakerloo line. Supported by Berkeley, I am currently working towards my APC to qualify as a chartered Planning and Development surveyor with RICS.
The most enjoyable part of my role is the variety of the work I do on a daily basis and the opportunity to get involved in some of the most prestigious development projects in London. Berkeley has allowed me to progress quickly and trusted me to take on a diverse range of responsibilities within the business. Berkeley also takes social responsibility very seriously and encourages employees to get involved in numerous charitable and social events throughout the year. Last year I was asked to assist the Berkeley Group with an initiative they run in conjunction with City Hall called HeadStart. HeadStart aims to increase the employability skills of school-age young people and prepare them for work. I helped run a workshop on the different departments within Berkeley before interviewing the candidates for placements within the Berkeley Group. I had never conducted interviews so it was a great opportunity to see an interview from the other side and gave me the experience and confidence to carry out interviews in the future.