When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I don’t think I ever once said ‘a town planner’. My first experience of town planning came much later, during a week of work experience at the local council while I was still in the Sixth Form. It was an intriguing and eye-opening week but the enthusiasm of one of the policy planners really stayed with me – so much so that a career as a Town Planner became something of a goal. Ten years later and I’m Principal Planner with Pegasus Group, one of the UK’s leading national development consultancies specialising in planning, design, environment, economics and heritage. I first joined Pegasus on their Graduate Training Scheme in June 2013 as a Graduate Planner straight from Cardiff University, having completed an undergraduate degree which included a year in industry.
Initially, the scheme focused on mentorship and supporting senior colleagues, but in recent years I have been able to work on a wide range of interesting and varied schemes, including developing considerable experience within the realms of renewable energy, especially solar. It was exciting to be exposed to direct client interaction right from the beginning, able to get involved in major projects. Although daunting at first, as my confidence, understanding and experience of the planning system grew, the roles I undertook increased and I was able to undertake more and more independent projects under less and less supervision. Pegasus Group has further supported me in taking my Master’s Degree at the University of West England (UWE) and is currently helping my progression towards becoming a Chartered Town Planner with the Royal Town Planning Institute. The company has recognised my hard work and commitment with promotions to Planner, Senior Planner and most recently Principal Planner. The business continues to help me with my professional development, particularly my desire to work in the renewables sector. Right from the start of my career, Pegasus Group allowed me to gain valuable management experience, develop client relationships and lead exciting projects with support and guidance from senior, top-class colleagues. This has put me firmly in a position to implement and develop the fundamentals taught to me at Cardiff University and UWE utilising the practical, hands on experience gained ‘on the job’.
The graduate opportunities offered by Pegasus Group are the perfect blend of personal and professional development. The company is very serious about the professional development of all its employees, and I am proof that by joining the graduate programme that development can be dynamic and engaging and that it is fully supported by the tools needed to succeed in your career. Town Planning remains a career option which many students simply won’t think to pursue, which is a real shame because anyone already working in the industry knows the fantastic opportunities offered by a career in planning or urban design. I believe that it is important that those of us already working in the profession must start to promote it with energy and enthusiasm, because if we don’t there simply won’t be enough skilled personnel to carry out the ever-growing volume of specialised work.
And looking at the facts, what’s not to love? A diverse career where no two days are the same, the opportunity to make decisions that shape the way people live, contributing to society in a positive way and feeling proud of the work you do!
So please do make sure that you come and meet Pegasus Group at the Big Grad Fair on Friday 29th March where we will be happy to show you what a fantastic opportunity could be just around the corner.
Best Wishes, Principal Planner Owen Horrell
Pegasus Group is a national consultancy operating from 12 offices across the UK. The team of more than 290 staff offer extensive experience across all sectors of the development industry from large scale urban extensions and strategies for area regeneration to renewable energy and residential schemes.