Case Study
Case Study

MY COUNTRYSIDE GRADUATE SCHEME

I began my graduate career with Countryside in May this year, but I have known the company for some time, as I live very close to Beaulieu, Countryside’s flagship development in Chelmsford. I began searching for graduate positions whilst on my gap year and when I discovered the Countryside scheme, I applied straight away. I have always been interested in housebuilding and inspired by the built environment, and I believe it to be a very rewarding, varied and interesting career.

My degree in Human Geography is not a RICS-accredited degree, but thankfully, this industry is extremely open to those in my position, and I am able to achieve my Chartered Surveyor ambitions through this graduate scheme. As the construction sector is so varied, I chose a graduate scheme to offer me the opportunity to rotate around the company in order to gain a wide range of skills and experience and a pool of knowledge, which will be beneficial to my long-term career and to Countryside.

After applying to the scheme, I was invited to attend the assessment day at Head Office. This involved a series of challenging but fun individual and group activities testing: communications skills, listening skills, sector knowledge and how we generally carried ourselves around others. A few weeks later, I was invited for interview with Andrew Carrington, Managing Director, Strategic Land, and two days later, I received a call saying that I had been awarded a position on the Grad Scheme.

No day looks the same as a graduate at Countryside, the only guarantee is that you’ll be exposed to plenty of new things and we’re always guided along the way. At the moment, my week is usually split between Broadbridge Heath, in Sussex, Cambridge and Essex. My roles and responsibilities vary depending on what projects I am working on. On one project, I might be included in meetings to further my knowledge and other times, I might be leading a site visit with an ecologist to discuss numerous issues that need to be dealt with in order meet planning regulations.

I am based at Countryside House in Warley and am currently completing my first rotation in Strategic Land. Fortunately, because of my early start on the scheme, I have had the opportunity to move around in this department to gain further experience. Even in my short time, I have worked on five main schemes and numerous new business opportunities.

One of the highlights so far is working at Beaulieu in Chelmsford. Having grown up in the local area, I have seen first-hand the growth and the change in the area and have seen the effect that the development has had, and the improvements it is bringing. It makes me very proud that I am having a positive impact on the local area.

Knowing that I am working on projects that people will enjoy living in and aspire to live in is the thing I like most about working at Countryside. As a company, Countryside goes beyond just building houses and creating places – there is an equal importance for community shaping, with a lot of focus on things like landscaping and community art. It really does add to the character and the setting of a place.

It’s been fantastic working here, I really couldn’t find a fault if I tried. I look forward to the challenges each day holds and know that the support is in place if I require the help.

GUY BALMFORD

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Opportunity.

A life changing opportunity exists, when you decide to build your career with Countryside. We’re looking for bright young talent to develop.

Email us: jake.mead@potensis.com

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