You start in Land.
This is a great introduction to the business because it is the raw product we require to get the ball rolling. We learn the criteria of land we search for and how to appraise the site, ensuring it will make profit. The rotations after this follow a logical process highlighting how land is utilised in the most efficient manner and transformed into a thriving community.
Now a graduate has an idea on how to identify land they now need the tools to evaluate the physical aspects. This is why the technical rotation exists. The technical team is responsible for ensuring the site is engineered and designed to help us reach our aims. Before this stint I could hardly interpret a layout let alone aid the design of one!
With my new design head firmly screwed I had to learn how to convert these drawings into tangible assets. Therefore, all graduates get situated on site for two months becoming part of the construction team. For my sins I was based on site during January and February – the coldest months of the year. You witness plots go from foundations to finished products. In two months I did not become a master of any trade but my knowledge vastly grew. Appreciation of how our homes are built is the perfect foundation for the next rotation where knowledge of the product is invaluable.
The rotational scheme continues to be out on site but in the marketing suite not the site hut – sales. This is an opportunity to put your industrial knowledge and people skills to use, dealing with the general public. Here you realise there is much more to sales than just selling. I was chasing up solicitors, estate agents, liaising with site teams and managing the customer from start to finish.
With buying, building and selling occurring simultaneously there is a huge financial aspect to the job. The commercial department are responsible for ensuring that the budget is adhered to at all times throughout the process. At the blink of an eye you have suddenly turned from a sales consultant to a budding quantity surveyor making sure every penny counts.
With more emphasis now being placed on the customer, your final stop is at customer services. The commentary I can provide here is slim as I am yet to join this department. The ethos however is transparent. They manage the customer and make sure that they are happy with the product.
Following these rotations does not only broaden your knowledge but also your network. Working in each department you form a relationship with everyone, unlike many who are restricted to their own team members. This theme continues outside of your office. The other graduates, situated across the UK, and I have had numerous trips away to the training centre and head office – now a very tight knit bunch. Every department also deals with different external consultants so your external circle also expands at a great pace.
Having been exposed to every angle in such a short time frame each day is different. With ties to every department people trust you and have faith in you even if you are no longer part of their team.
So on a Monday I come in expecting to be doing commercial work, but before I know it previous departments are asking for my help and I’m contributing towards a land appraisal. Oh and after that I am driving up to head office to do a presentation the following day about marketing.
To say these rotations bring a great amount of variety to your working world is an understatement… Is this a good thing? Certainly. It keeps you on your toes and presents you with the opportunity of 6 different career routes. I do not know many other graduates that can say the same!