A picture of Sophie's story

Sophie studied a Masters in Psychology and Business Studies at Edinburgh University

Graduating from university, it was important to me that I started my career working for an organisation with social objectives, while also putting to use what I learned from my degree. Sanctuary’s graduate programme ticked both of these boxes and provided a bespoke programme that would fuel my personal ambitions.

My placements on the graduate programme were really varied, working across several of Sanctuary’s business areas. It was exciting to be part of a range of diverse projects and develop the skills required to deliver results.

Since completing the scheme in April 2012 I have worked in a variety of roles within Development, starting as a project manager and leading to my current role as Development Manager. I am responsible for the delivery of all new developments in the Worcestershire and Herefordshire areas. This includes overseeing the entire development process from site identification, appraisal and acquisition, through the design, planning and construction phases, to handover and sales. I love the variety of my job: I can be discussing the finer details of a land acquisition contract with our solicitors in the morning and attending a planning consultation event with our architects in the afternoon.

The graduate programme gave me an in-depth knowledge of our business and a brilliant network of colleagues and contacts. This has really helped when tackling the challenges that each unique development project can present. I learnt the importance of adapting to change, in Development life is often fast-paced and being flexible is essential."

What has been your greatest achievement as part of Sanctuary Group?

"I am fortunate that most of my achievements are very tangible: I can actually see the physical result of a development project – be it new houses, a care home or an extra care facility. One of my biggest projects was Sanctuary’s major care and supported living scheme in Worcester – I was involved from the very beginning through to handover to operational colleagues.

Two years ago I also had a fantastic opportunity to undertake a 12 month secondment to RHP, a housing association in London. This was an exciting opportunity to work within a different organisation and kick-start a development programme. I was responsible for bringing forward a number of sites and supporting a small development team – a great way to utilise and further develop my skills and expertise."