Marcus Poore, Planning Development

In the last 12 week I have been working in the Development Management Team at West Suffolk Council, taking part in a number of different roles with a wide range of different people. This three month placement has allowed me to gain experience in the workplace and has also given me the opportunity to develop my skills. I am a first year BSc Economics student at the University of East Anglia with no experience in planning at all, but during my time here I have learnt a lot about the planning process and about working in a professional environment.

During my time I have able to get hands on with a lot of different projects. From week one I have been travelling around West Suffolk to different sites looking at how the planning process impacts the local area. I have visited many places that I would not have been able to see without this internship. Exploring West Suffolk from the planning perspective has been an exciting experience that has helped with the projects that I have been working on in the team.

The skills I have learnt during my degree have been essential to the work I have been doing here at West Suffolk Council. I have been able to apply my knowledge and skills in projects such as reviewing feedback data or creating a database for previous appeal cases. I have also started the West Suffolk Development Evaluation Program during my time. This is a new project which I have led, which focuses on the evaluation of previous sites to assess the development and promote dynamic changes in terms of our decision making.

The intern project has also been a big part of my time here. Working with the interns from other departments in West Suffolk Council has been a highlight of my time here. We have all worked together in creating events with a variety of education, employment and other partners and to inspire people to improve existing skills and learn new ones. This in turn may help giving people the confidence to undertake voluntary work in their community, start-up their own business venture or to gain new employment and in so doing contribute to the success of our local economy.

This internship has given me the opportunity to showcase the skills I have learnt alongside teaching me many new thinks about working in the real world. The responsibility, of having your own projects, has set me up will for life after university. Never have I felt like “the intern”, I have always been welcomed as a valued member of the team. My lack of experience was never an issue as I have learnt on the job, and support was always there when I needed it. I’d suggest an internship with West Suffolk council to anyone, it is a great first step into work and a good experience of what life after university can be like.