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Alice Day, Environment Grad

 

Starting at DHA in September 2022, after graduating from University of East Anglia with a degree in Geography and International Development in July 2022, I jumped straight into the world of planning and have learnt so much when it comes to planning and the variety of sectors involved within DHA. I am currently working within the Environment team who have all been a great help in my professional growth.

 

I have recently started my masters in Town and Country Planning at London Southbank University and am looking forward to combining my professional skills with the theory associated with the course. The continued support throughout DHA will enable me to continue to progress at DHA and within my masters, eventually enabling me to undertake RTPI accreditation.

 

Within the Environment Team I have been given an increasing responsibility throughout different projects, which vary in scale and complexity. These have included: large scale commercial schemes, residential projects and solar/ energy projects. This includes a large scale solar scheme which is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project which has really taught me about the depth and different aspects of the planning system and the requirements involved across different scales of projects.

 

The responsibility given throughout these schemes has enabled me to develop my understanding of the planning system and the issues involved, including the increasing need for renewable energy sources. DHA also give the freedom and responsibility to liaise with clients and run meetings further enabling my professional growth. I look forward to progressing at DHA.

 

Tom Valek, Transport Grad

 

After completing a history degree at the University of Sussex, I joined DHA as a Graduate Transport Planner in February 2022 following a family history of working in Highways and Transportation. Since joining DHA I have worked with a wide range of clients on a variety of different projects. In my time at DHA, I have been provided with the opportunity to develop my skillset and knowledge by being exposed to various aspects of the industry. This has included working on Transport Assessments / Statements to support a variety of developments, Travel Plans, traffic modelling and detailed analysis of sites and layouts.  One of the best parts of working at DHA is the trust and responsibility you are given from the outset, this includes liaising with clients, leading meetings and managing projects.

 

Working at DHA has enabled me to have a good understanding of the foundations and core principles of planning through the graduate training programme. The training sessions paired with working with experienced professionals has been a significant factor in my growth within DHA.

 

I am currently in my second year of a part-time Masters in Transport Planning and Management at the University of Westminster, which is sponsored by DHA. Continued support from DHA has allowed me the time to develop within DHA whilst also working towards the submission of my dissertation in August 2024. Undertaking a Masters alongside working as a Transport Planner at DHA has provided me with key knowledge to support work completed both at university and DHA.

 

DHA has provided me with the platform to achieve my goals and aspirations, as I look forward to completing my masters in late 2024 and continuing to grow and progress within DHA.

 

 

James Farmer, Land and Planning Grad

 

I have to admit, as someone that had recently left university, and wasn't used to functioning before 11am, the idea of starting a new position was somewhat daunting! However, I can safely say that joining DHA was the best thing I could have done!

 

What has really struck me from my fleeting 9 months is how hands on the work is, and how much freedom I am given to explore different avenues within planning. I have managed to learn more in only a few months of working at DHA than I did in three years of my undergraduate course at uni, and this is just a testament to how well DHA treats their staff.

 

As a grad it can feel intimidating when starting a new project, however, I have learnt that no matter how simple a question can feel, there will always be a colleague that is willing to not only help, but go the extra mile to ensure that I have a full understanding of the task at hand.

 

 

 

Lauren Sinden

 

 

I joined the DHA Gatwick office in August 2022, having worked at Mott MacDonald for one year post-graduation. I am in the planning team, which is headed up by Jonathan Buckwell and Mark Bewsey, and in September 2023 I was promoted from Graduate to Planner. Concurrently, I have started a part-time Town and Country Planning Masters programme at London South Bank University, which DHA are sponsoring to support my academic pursuits.

 

In addition, regular Graduate Training sessions have contributed significantly to my personal and professional development. As a result, I am now involved in a wide range of projects across a multitude of sectors, including taking on some small projects of my own. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as a Graduate Planner, and I look forward to my future at DHA.

 

 

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