City & Country Graduate embarks on planning career

Sam Bampton has recently graduated from City & Country’s Graduate Trainee Programme and has now been promoted at the award-winning company within the Planning department. The Programme is run by Athena Professional but is entirely bespoke to City & Country. In acknowledgement of the programme’s success it recently won The Association for Business Psychology Award for Excellence in Coaching & Training.

Graduate embarks Plan -  City & Country

Sam studied Property Development & Planning at university before enrolling with City & Country. As part of the programme he spent time with a number of business departments, gaining significant on-the-job experience. He explains:

It feels like the end of a journey and I’m excited to be starting the beginning of a new chapter. Throughout the graduate programme I worked closely with the Design and Land & Property departments. With the Design team I helped to review drawings and provided input into layouts and elevations. This gave me a thorough understanding of the design process and an appreciation of the important skills architects have.

During my time with the Land & Property department I was privileged enough to attend site acquisition meetings, where I experienced the process that’s undertaken when sites are being purchased, including legal preparation, financial appraisals and the negotiation process itself. I also had the opportunity to undertake site appraisals, which allowed me to apply the skills I had learnt at university.

City & Country’s Graduate Trainee Programme provides exposure to senior colleagues across the business, including regular contact with the Managing Director and Chief Executive. Graduates are also able to attend regular Director Site Visits to review the progress of their project and gain an understanding of the Vision and Values of the business, an opportunity not afforded on most graduate training programmes.

One of the things I was surprised by and grateful for was the contact I had with the Directors, which was far greater than I ever anticipated. I regularly had one-on-one meetings and phone calls with them, from which I learnt a great deal. This allowed me to grow and gain knowledge far quicker than I would have otherwise and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from these senior colleagues.” says Sam.

As the market leading heritage developer in the UK, City & Country’s projects include a variety of fascinating historic buildings including former prisons, colleges and hospitals. For Sam, the opportunity to work with such architectural heritage was the most attractive reason for joining the programme. He comments:

The main reason for joining the programme was the opportunity to work with historic buildings. There is no other company that I know of that does work of the quality and diversity that City & Country does and I was excited to be part of it. It is the days when I go out on site when I really appreciate what a difference the work we do makes and that gives me an enormous sense of pride.

Working on projects like these is a challenge but that is what I like and they’re so much more interesting than your standard new build developments. No project is the same as they all have their own individual elements that require a bespoke approach. I’m always learning and having to push myself; I think this is what really differentiates it from working with new buildings, where the process can be quite repetitive and simply a case of applying the same methodology to different sites.

Helen Moore, Managing Director of City & Country, adds:

We’re delighted to offer talented young people an opportunity to work within the property industry. We recognise the importance of allowing graduates to develop their skills through a hands on role, to gain the experience they need, in a more effective and rewarding manner. By bringing bright and enthusiastic individuals into our business we know they will not only grow and develop with us to achieve a very rewarding career, but they will also assist us in delivering the restoration and conversion of some of Britain’s most special heritage assets; bringing them back into beneficial use by providing much needed homes for current and future generations.