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Laura Feekins

Graduate Planner, Deloitte Real Estate

Laura Feekins - APC Outstanding Achiever 2013I graduated from the University of Manchester with a Masters in Planning in 2010.  As an undergraduate, I studied Law at the University of Leeds, later qualifying as a solicitor in 2008.  However, I quickly decided to make the switch to planning – I had developed an interest in the planning system whilst studying Planning Law during my undergraduate degree and knew that town planning was what I really wanted to do.

I joined the Manchester office of Deloitte Real Estate as a summer student whilst I was completing my MPLAN dissertation during the summer of 2010 and then accepted a post as Graduate Planner in October 2010. 

In my role I have had the opportunity to develop and strengthen my planning skills by working for a range of private and public sector clients predominantly on projects in Manchester City Centre.  I have worked on a range of commercial schemes, including planning applications for new office and hotel buildings, tall buildings and refurbishment of Listed Buildings.  I have also been involved in the preparation of a number of Strategic Development Frameworks for key sites in Manchester City Centre.

Laura's top tips for future candidates:

  • Find out what support is available at your workplace – can they recommend or help you find a mentor, is study leave available, is there a peer group forum for L-APC candidates to discuss queries.
  • Find a mentor and consult them regularly – my mentor was an excellent support from day one, helping me to identify areas of strength and weakness to build on and as a sounding board for developing my case studies.
  • Read the L-APC Guidance thoroughly and keep it under review – make sure that you really understand what you are being asked to demonstrate so that you can do this effectively in your submission.
  • Select your case studies carefully, choosing one or two projects where you have had a significant involvement that will enable you to clearly demonstrate each of the assessment criteria.  Jot down notes against the list of criteria so that you can see all have been met and then signpost the criteria clearly within the case studies.  
  • The logbook is a really useful tool in which you can provide more of the background information about, and your involvement in, pieces of work and projects that will support and reinforce what you have discussed in the written statement.  Use it effectively by incorporating clear cross-references, with project names and logbook page numbers, to direct the assessor.
  • The logbook is also critical in developing and updating your Professional Development Plan – working through the logbook will help to identify areas of strength and weakness as well as knowledge and experience gained and still to be learnt.  Use the logbook to prepare a Professional Development Plan early on and regularly review it as a tool to reflect on your career development.
  • Once you are MRTPI, think about offering your support as a mentor to someone else undertaking their L-APC.  You will have a lot of valuable insight that you can offer!

 

Please note: To stay fit for purpose, L-APC requirements do change over time. For the most up to date advice please always refer to the L-APC Guidance on the Licenitate APC webpage. Candidate details provided here are current at time of L-APC submission in 2013.