“I already know I’m a valued member of the Countryside team” by Hannah Pontet
Hannah Pontet, 24, from Kent, became a Graduate Trainee at Countryside in October 2018 after completing a MSc in Environmental Assessment and Management from Oxford Brookes University. She gives us a rundown on her first three months in the role.
"Having travelled across the globe for a year after university and then jumping straight into the world of homebuilding, being a graduate at Countryside has exceeded all expectations of my first job after University.
From day one, we were exposed to significant, hands-on work projects that challenge us to think and use our skills and talents. Forget the stereotypical image of graduates standing by the photocopier and making tea, we are treated as equals and responsibility is bestowed upon as much as experienced employees. Our ideas are always heard not only by our peers but by members across different teams, and we are valued for our input. We are really encouraged to present our ideas on various aspects of the business, and our mentors take the time to discuss the reasons behind a strategy and this has really helped my confidence and learning as a young professional.
From informal lunches with the CEO to two-day training workshops and tailored graduate conferences, we are fully immersed in Countryside life through and through. As a team it really is like a family, where we all work hard and laugh together.
We are part of a programme that is really engaging and challenges us to think ahead which means on any given day we can be arranging key client meetings while also being part of complex decision-making discussions. The variety really keeps things interesting!
The greatest part of working at Countryside is how the employees truly care about you. From the top CEO’s to your everyday colleagues.
Both collaboration and partnership are part of the Countryside DNA and this isn’t just in our work externally. One of my favourite things at Countryside is how every Friday we go for a team lunch and just sit and have fun. It’s so important to enjoy the people you work with, and of those from the wider team that I’ve met so far at Countryside, have become great friends.
My first three months have been quite the rollercoaster and I have loved every minute of it. The close collaboration, communication and creativity behind the work we do has banished any fears I had on my first day and I cannot wait to continue my Countryside journey."