I have an academic background in Politics and Urban Land Economics and recently completed my MSc in Urban Management and Development specialising in Urban Competitiveness and Resilience at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
I then worked in real estate on multi-residential acquisitions back in Canada before deciding to move into planning after being exposed to the reporting side of business. I decided to move to the UK because I wanted more international experience and there are more opportunities here than in Toronto, where I’m from.
I applied to Inner Circle as an analyst. I really liked the company, it was what I was looking for – I wanted exposure to a smaller company’s multi-dimensional work, mapping, GIS and statistical software and research.
I really liked the interview where you worked through three case-studies to see how you would respond – it was really well done and I learnt a lot from that.
I’m enjoying my job at Inner Circle, everyone has been really nice and helpful. The office is great! I’ve done quite a bit of training and a lot of learning on the job. I got started straight away and feel like I’ve have been here for two years, not two weeks. My work includes quantitative and qualitative research, mapping, data analytics and strategic planning. There is a focus on collaboration at Inner Circle, so anyone who is a specialist in an area will help out on projects where they are needed.
I want to continue within Urban Regeneration. My thesis was on Smart Cities and environmental performance – sustainability space and I’m passionate about urbanism and Big Data statistics so I feel very comfortable.
MEET SO SUM
I completed a four year degree, MSc in Urban Regeneration in Hong Kong – accredited by RICS and RTPI UCL. I wanted to get some international experience which is why I chose London for further study and employment – I consider it to be a hub for knowledge sharing and there are lots of opportunities and jobs here.
The planning system is different in the UK from Hong Kong. Here we care about the communities in which we live and work versus the approach in Hong Kong which is top down.
I’m passionate about learning different things, I like to join and explore different groups and events. I like to experiment and am eternally curious! That’s the reason why I became interested in planning.
Urban planning can shape how a person lives and their desire to help their community – like people to enjoy and interactive with space. I found it really interesting how Pokemon Go influenced public space utilisation and engagement.
I heard about Inner Circle from the Alumni working at UCL. I had a look and found the project work quite interesting.
The two people, Charlotte and Sandy, I met when I visited the offices for my interview really seemed to enjoy what they were doing and I liked the work environment, the flexible workplace and the flat structure. I found it all really fascinating!
My second interview with Chris and Andy informed me that transformation within a company and improving efficiencies can be challenging but meaningful. We are helping other people to achieve something.
My first week with Inner Circle was quite overwhelming as this is my first job. Being given training within the first week has been a great foundation though and has made the process much smoother for me. I have been contributing to projects from day one, taking theory and applying it practically on a range of town centre development and estate regeneration projects. There is a focus on Progression in Inner Circle and I like how people are working in their roles.
The Graduate programme is two years and in this time I would really like to improve my confidence in speaking to different people. Within these two years I will be independent and able to make decisions and take on a more senior role and lead projects in the future.
Everyone at Inner Circle is so experienced and intelligent. They are really good role models and I'm really enjoying working and learning from them.
I recently completed my MSc in Spatial Planning at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning. I specialised in housing and local government, with a focus on economic development and planning. After graduating I worked with a major construction company, researching local authority projects for schools. Working in the building industry highlighted to me what the issues and processes of delivering buildings and construction actually involved.
I started working at Inner Circle part-time before joining the Graduate Programme. When looked at what Inner Circle was doing I thought it was very creative and innovative, they are changing the way strategy is formed rather than just delivering it. Some companies take more traditional planning routes but this organisation gives you more depth – they shape ideas and policies and are trying to do things differently. I also really liked the client list and breadth of projects which Inner Circle have worked on.
Since joining Inner Circle, I have provided support on a range of transport and housing projects. What we are doing with clients is progressive, on the surface we’re delivering a transport programme but it’s about different ways of seeing and solving the issues. When people think about local government it seems like it’s subject to inertia – construction is resistant to change.
Inner Circle is counter to that, we are looking at real behavioural change versus the norm. There is a real focus on tenacity at Inner Circle, a real desire to get things done despite obstacles that can crop up. There is a strong emphasis on analysis which is outside of the project. There are lessons to be taken from that.