First 6 months as a graduate at Shared Agenda
I am originally from Skipton in North Yorkshire and studied Geography at the University of Hull. While I was studying for my degree in Hull, I heard about Shared Agenda and saw what a fast-paced, growing business it was. I love the East Yorkshire area, but I don’t want to be limited to one place forever.
Taking up this role at Shared Agenda meant I could live locally with the potential to travel and work in other areas of the country as the business continues to develop and grow. I love working alongside a passionate and motivated team to support our clients working on a variety of projects.
Having joined the company during the coronavirus pandemic, I have a flexible mix of working from home and office work or site visits when necessary, but generally no two days are the same. I also have a varied mix of work in developments and strategy. During a typical week I will spend some time on business development usually around social value and our procurement process for both Shared Agenda and the wider Sewell Group, as well as work on estate planning strategy and development work on flagship projects in the region. This normally includes site visits, desktop research and meetings with the client.
There is a great deal of trust from the team and even though I was fresh out of university, I was given lots of responsibility and trusted to do things, with support, that you wouldn’t usually expect a graduate to be doing. The most important thing I found was to always ask if I didn’t understand something. The cliché phrase ‘there is no silly question’ is heard a lot at Shared Agenda but it is true! It is definitely the best way to learn.
I always keep up with training and Shared Agenda is always supportive in providing training opportunities to develop my skills and career. Regular catch ups with my line manager always feature in a typical day, making sure that any queries or guidance I need is there, without the feeling of being checked on. The support network from the whole group and the work family is very important.
At Shared Agenda it’s all about culture; even in my first 6 moths I was made to feel like I had been part of the team forever. This is helped by plenty of social events to get to know the rest of the team, even with Covid, it was worked around to make sure I didn’t miss out. Joining Shared Agenda was a great decision and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
Graduate Progression at Shared Agenda
In 2018, I joined Shared Agenda as a Graduate Development Manager after finishing my BA Geography degree at the University of Leeds. From the moment I started I have been involved in a variety of projects focused around estates consultancy, which incorporates a wide range of things across a project lifecycle, from strategic planning including business cases and options appraisals, to managing the design process and contract management during the live construction phase. I undertake a range of work across both the healthcare and education sectors which is great for keeping my role diverse and interesting, and every day is a learning day.
Now in my third year at Shared Agenda, I have progressed from my graduate role to an Assistant Development Manager and am now a Consultant. Whilst I have been given independence and the opportunity to progress, there is always support and guidance available from colleagues. You are encouraged to push and challenge yourself, building on your strengths and key skills whilst having the opportunity to improve on weaknesses.
At Shared Agenda there are numerous opportunities for personal development, and in 2020 I qualified as a Business Case Practitioner. I am also about to commence a formal Project Management qualification. As well as recognised qualifications, there are a variety of both internal and external options for further training and enhancing your knowledge and skills sets.
Since starting as a graduate at Shared Agenda I have progressed rapidly from assisting on projects to taking on more responsibility and taking a leading role in a variety of projects, and couldn’t have done so without being part of such a supporting and welcoming team to offer guidance and support.