What's it like to be a graduate planner with Atlas?

on Thursday, 01 February 2024.


Oscar joined the team in October 2023 straight after finishing his Masters in Urban Planning. Interested to find out what it’s really like to work for an independent Private Planning Consultancy, and more importantly what’s so special about Atlas? Read on Oscar gives his account and shares his insights.

“As I approached the completion of my MSc at the University of the West of England, I was drawn to Atlas because of their reputation among landowners, homeowners and architects for attaining excellent planning outcomes. With no prior planning work experience, I was eager to gain exposure to planning across a variety of sectors, and Atlas seamlessly felt like the perfect match within my first week.

I first encountered planning during my undergraduate degree which extensively covered urban regeneration and sparked my passion and vision for achieving vibrant inner city, multi-use and sustainable spaces.

Within the first month, it was great to apply the fundamentals of what I had learnt over four years at UWE and get stuck into the nuts and bolts of day-to-day practise, by attending site visits, client and Committee meetings, and producing Planning Statements. Such exposure to the various processes in achieving planning outcomes was indeed a steep learning curve, but from my first day I was assigned a Mentor, Becca, who has offered an array of expertise and support as she guides me through to obtaining my professional aspirations.

Becca and I have regular CPD sessions as I embark on my Chartered L-APC journey for the Royal Town Planning Institute. Her wealth in knowledge and extensive experience in planning policy and the historic environment assures that I’m producing the highest standard of work for our clients and is available to offer support when projects go awry early in my career as a planner.

Not only do I have regular meetings with my Mentor, but the entire team (from Associates to the Director) are very supportive in providing advice and guidance with scheduled one to one meetings to review my L-APC reflective journal, and have even paid for me to attend CPD sessions organised by the RTPI.

I am already responsible for managing a variety of projects, from a proposed inner-city 6 dwelling scheme, community facilities, to a number of Class Q and Class MA conversions, isolated dwellings and country homes in sensitive rural settings. Having exposure to such variety in sectors is truly what I was after in my first role as a planner and with already several applications Approved, I feel proud to be playing a small-part in delivering much-needed high quality homes for the South of England.

Though we are a small consultancy, it is rewarding to know that I can contribute to the development of proposals, of which would not be possible without such a welcoming and supportive response from the team (who are always able to answer my questions relating to the GPDO).

It is great to have an employer who is willing to invest in my CPD and support my aspirations of becoming MRTPI within two years, and I very much look forward to being a part of APG’s growing success.”

Oscar is a huge asset to our team. From the get-go he has got stuck into new and existing projects, has a positive attitude and a great work ethic which has led to some impressive results already. With the support of our in-house tailor-made mentorship programme Oscar has made rapid progress since joining us in October. We hire based on these qualities and attributes, not based on experience, which is why the team at Atlas is so special. We work as a team, no matter our title, and we invest in our team so that we can ensure we attain the very best planners in our consultancy.

If you feel you have the same desire for success and are not afraid to get stuck into a wide range of projects we would love to hear from you, even if you haven’t yet completed your studies. Join our talent bank on our careers page or speak to Dan on 01722 638008 to find out more.

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