I developed skills such as critical thinking, report writing and presenting, which I still rely upon now

Will Hannah
Will Hannah
Planning Consultant for Turley
MPlan Urban Studies and Planning
MPlan Urban Studies and Planning graduate Will discusses his job as a Planning Consultant for Turley and how studying at Sheffield provided him with the tools to get there.

Can you tell us what a typical day in your role is like?

Working in Turley, my role varies day-to-day. In Planning Consultancies, and Turley specifically, there is opportunity to work on a wide range of topics. At the moment, I work across the Residential, Healthcare and Education, and Logistics sectors.

 A typical day in my role will involve liaising with clients and other consultants, writing documents (such as Planning Statements), preparing and submitting planning applications and other smaller tasks, such as research or site appraisals. 

What attracted you to this role, and what aspect do you enjoy the most?

Overall, I really enjoy my role and find that the company I work at allows me to be myself in the workplace. Working as a Consultant has allowed me to improve my planning knowledge and confidence in applying this knowledge to active projects. 
I had previously worked at a Local Planning Authority, which I also enjoyed. In my experience, I have found that Consultancy offers a wider range of projects and as such, I’ve grown in confidence and ability during this time. 

What skills did you learn during your degree that you use in your career?

I studied MPlan and graduated in 2019. Over the course of the four years, I developed skills such as critical thinking, report writing and presenting, which I still rely upon now. 

Why did you choose to study in the School of Geography and Planning at Sheffield?

I attended a USP open day and really enjoyed it. The School, the Uni and Sheffield in general seemed really welcoming. I enjoyed Geography at A-Level and wasn’t sure what to do at Uni until I attended an open day, so the USP open day swung it for me!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of studying/looking for work in your field? 

I would strongly encourage current students to undertake as much work experience as possible, potentially over a few months or even as a year in industry. When I graduated, I did not look for employment straight away due to my desire to go travelling. However, upon my return I initially found it difficult to secure a job due to my lack of experience. 

Following on from the above, it is also really important to accept that you will not get every job you apply for! I had a number of unsuccessful final stage graduate scheme interviews and multiple interviews for other Assistant Planner roles. It can be disheartening but this experience of rejection allowed me to evaluate and focus on where I’d gone wrong for future interviews. 

I would advise students to use LinkedIn and contact people within the roles you are applying for! Most people will be perceptive to messages or a chat as everyone was in your shoes at one point. 

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