Ralph Elliott


Ralph Elliott

Graduate Planner

Carter Jonas LLP

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Joined Carter Jonas in 2020

I chose to study BA Geography at the University of Leeds as it was my favourite A-Level. It was a great 3 years. I learnt a lot and had some amazing experiences. Over the course of my degree, I identified that interested me the most were the planning-oriented modules and felt that it was something that I wanted to learn more about through further study. This led to me studying MSc Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield.

Applying to Carter Jonas During the early months of my MSc I realised that I had chosen a degree which I was engaged with, and one which could lead me into a career which excited me. Carter Jonas came to present at the university in the Autumn, which convinced me to apply. I was particularly attracted to the type of work that they did, as it appeared interesting and varied. I also felt that the high level of support I would receive during the programme would benefit me. I applied straight after the presentation for the position of Graduate Planner at the London office. This led to an individual assessment day in January, which included a presentation, interview, and case study activity. 1-2 weeks later I received the excellent news that I had been offered a job at Carter Jonas.

A day in the life at Carter Jonas I have now been at Carter Jonas for over 4 months. I feel very settled in although I have been working from home quite a lot which has been a bit strange! However, I’ve been into the office enough times to give an account of a typical day in the life of a Graduate Planner at Carter Jonas. 8am- I cycle to work when I can. It takes about 1 hour (including getting showered when I arrive). It’s definitely a more pleasurable commute than getting the tube! 9am- I usually go through e-mails for the first half an hour or so as I sip my morning coffee. 9:30am- A team meeting to discuss jobs everyone is working on across the company. It’s always interesting to hear what other teams are up to. 10:30am- Progress has been made on one of my main jobs and I can prepare a submission for a planning application. I update and finalise the cover letters, planning statement and application form I have been working on. Once a more senior colleague has reviewed them, I can submit. While I am waiting to hear back from them I call up a planning officer to chase a previously submitted application. 1pm- A busy morning and I am ready for some lunch. I sit in a local park and have some me time as I eat a sandwich I have bought. 2pm- I have a progress team meeting with others who are working on a particular job. I contribute by explaining some of the research I have been doing. I also take minutes, which help us to identify what needs doing next. 3pm- One of my colleagues has asked me to undertake a site appraisal for a site owned by a client. This usually involves a fair bit of looking at Google Maps to understand the site, followed by research into the site’s planning history, local planning allocations/designations and relevant nearby planning applications. This is all to gain an understanding of the site’s potential for development. 5pm- Things are winding down a bit so I update my APC logbook, which will support my final submission to become a charter planner. 5:30pm- I say my goodbyes and head home for a bit of dinner, before I meet some friends at the pub.

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