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After a successful work experience placement this summer, Oliver Joslin joined youngsRPS as a Graduate Planning Assistant in Newcastle City Centre.

Here, he tells us about how he has found the transition from studies to full time employment…

How long have you been at youngsRPS, and can you give us an overview of what you do day to day?

I started a role full time at youngsRPS in September this year. Whilst new to the company as well as to the industry, it has been both challenging and engaging to delve into the multi-faceted industry that is planning. Due to the nature of consultancy, no two days prove the same – its fast-paced environment is one of the many reasons why it is so enjoyable. One day you could be working on a major residential scheme which has the prospect to transform an entire community, and the next you could be on-site speaking to a farmer, whilst being warmly welcomed by a selection of animals.

What drew you towards planning?

After graduating, I begun to explore what I could best achieve with my career, and planning is something that really stood out to me. It’s difficult to explain what it was precisely that attracted me towards the planning industry, but I guess this stems from the fact that it wasn’t just one thing that attracted me to the industry, it was an amalgamation of things.
I’ve always had a strong interest in people and places. I am fascinated by them. Why we act the way we do, how we are shaped by those around us, how our sense of place simultaneously influences people whilst benefiting from their input at the same time. My interest in planning stems from a place of genuine intrigue into how people, places and cities operate across a symbiotic scale. For me, planning is the means of managing such a scale.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

It’s difficult to state my greatest achievement to date because, with a level of candour, I believe my greatest achievement is still yet to come. Yes, I have achieved things within my life that I am proud of, such as completing my undergraduate degree, but to say this is my greatest achievement is not entirely accurate. In 5 to 10 years’ time, I know that what I will achieve will hold a higher level of value than that which I have achieved to date, whether it be on a professional or a personal level. That being said, there is a notable achievement of mine, one which has scaled over time; my ability to apply myself to tasks presented to me together with a continued desire to learn and venture into the unknown. Granted, these are not classified as your typical achievements, but for my temperament, they hold real value, as they have enabled me to get where I am today; a place in which I will be able to grow and attain my greatest achievement.

What have you found most challengeing?

The greatest challenge, so far, has been the transition from my master’s degree to professional practice. During my academic studies the majority of my learning was centred towards the theoretical side of planning. Whilst this has proven useful during my time in consultancy, the practical side of planning my studies forwent have proved to be paramount within professional practice. That being said, I am thoroughly enjoying the continual learning experience ;the opportunity to learn enables me to take the next steps towards gaining my professional qualification.

Finally, do you have any tips for other Graduates hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Get the best out of what you do by embracing challenge and augmenting and expanding your knowledge. By overcoming adversity you substantiate both your knowledge and your experience, thus actualising a confidence and an ability in yourself which you are then able to apply to other aspects of life. This similarly ties in with the idea of doing things that make you feel uncomfortable, pushing beyond your self-defined capabilities and harnessing newly defined potential.  This is something that poses a daily challenge, but the difference I have noticed since adopting such actions is a level both tenable and infinitely worthwhile.

Thank's to Oliver for taking time to chat with us about his role at youngsRPS. To find out more about career opportunities with us visit our careers section.

This article features in our winter Insight magazine which you can read here.