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Graduate Spotlight

Why housing?

I was exposed to the construction industry at a young age as my dad used to have a plastering and rendering business so when I was old enough he got me involved and working on sites with him. I always asked lots of questions and developed an understanding of the roles and skills in the field.

My interest lies in business; I passed my Business GCSE early in year nine and then went on to study it at A Level before graduating with a Business Management degree from Buckinghamshire University. Upon leaving university, I set up as a management consultant to assist aspiring entrepreneurs without business backgrounds, with their business planning - some of my clients include tradespeople operating in our sector.

I was looking for a new opportunity and came across Orbit’s graduate scheme. I was surprised I hadn’t heard of the organisation as they operate in my local area of Bedford. Housing appealed to me because of the complex operations involved within it and with the combination of my knowledge and experience I thought it would be a good fit.

Orbit’s profit for a purpose approach resonated with me. I am from a working class background and have lived in social housing myself so realising Orbit has a moral compass - it doesn’t just build homes, it has a social purpose too - which encouraged me to apply.

Graduate experience so far?

It has been great; I don’t have a bad word to say about Orbit. Everyone I’ve worked with so far has been more than happy to assist me with my learning. The opportunity to rotate across different teams means I am not pigeonholed and I can find my own niche while developing an insight of a variety of functions across the organisation.

I really value the mentoring and coaching offered here too. Steve Thompson, who has just been announced as the new commercial director is based in the Bedford office where I am and has been mentoring me, while Emma Hobbs, Sales & Marketing Manager is my coach. They have both been exceptionally helpful and supported my development throughout my first year.

What does a typical day look like for an Orbit graduate?

There’s no typical day in market sale and that’s what I like about it the most! One day I might be at a planning meeting in Birmingham with highbrow professionals and the next I could be on a construction site, up to my knees in mud.

In the Market Sale division, it is rare that a project or piece of work will sit within a single team – and so you often find yourself liaising with various departments to work towards a solution that suits all parties.

I’m a dynamic person so the role is ideal for me and this is a very exciting time to join Orbit as there is a lot of change happening giving me the chance to put forward new ideas and make an impact.

Your opinion of Orbit so far?

It’s a fun place to work and promotes modern ways of working. The flexibility means you are trusted to work in a way that works for you.

Orbit has a commercial focus without the feel of working for a rigid corporate machine. The working environment is social and invites new ways of thinking so I am comfortable to challenge ideas. The organisation has ambitious aims for its short, medium and long term future – which suits me down to the ground as I am a very ambitious person myself!