Senior Planner, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
Before applying for university I gained work experience in the Planning Departments at Mott MacDonald and Scott Brownrigg. This early work experience inspired me to pursue a career in planning. In 2009 I completed a three-year Geography degree at Bristol University. I then began a one-year full-time MSc Planning, Practice and Research course at Cardiff University in September 2009, completing this course in September 2010. In August 2010, while I was still finishing my dissertation to complete my planning course, I started work at Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) as a graduate planner.
I have now worked at NLP for nearly four years gaining a wide range of experience through their graduate rotation programme. My first role at NLP was in team specialising in 'tourism and leisure' projects and I gained a range of practical spatial planning experience on a number of large projects including, a coastal site in Cornwall and various theme parks/attractions across the country. In September 2011, I joined a 'town centre and retail' specialist project team. This enabled me to broaden my practical spatial planning experience and develop new skills, including quantitative and qualitative retail analysis. Around a year ago I joined a more residential focused team. This has allowed me to experience a range of housing schemes, but I have also maintained my roles on some retail projects and on a theme park client. In January 2014 I achieved promotion to Senior Planner.
Rachel's top tips for future candidates:
- Make sure you update your logbook regularly and ideally each month if you can. It is the tip which everyone encourages, it is twice as hard and time consuming to try and do several months in one go.
- In terms of selecting projects for the written submission it is useful to think about these early and discuss with your line manager what project(s) you might select so you can identify whether you need any additional specific experience to enable completion of your APC submission.
- I found it really useful to get my draft written submission proofed by a family member who is not a Planner. It should be clear enough for them to follow and they can provide the non-Planning comments that may be overlooked by colleagues who are reviewing the submission from a planning perspective.
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.