In June, we welcomed Robyn Tobutt to our Hook office.
Here we get to know about Robyn’s recent graduation from Oxford Brookes, why she wanted to become a planner and her career aspirations.
When did you first decide you wanted to become a planner and why?
I decided I wanted to become a planner pretty much as soon as I left college. I had a good idea of the area I wanted to work in and just needed to work out where my skills and interests were best suited. I made the decision to embark on the 4-year integrated masters course at Oxford Brookes University, where I knew that after completion I could start my journey to becoming a Chartered Town Planner.
What planning experience do you have?
Throughout my summer breaks at university I tried to be pro-active in gaining experience in the planning profession. It is one thing to study planning at university and another to do it in practice. I gained summer placement experience in both the public and private sectors over my 4 years at university. These became invaluable experiences to me, giving me a greater understanding of how my studies were preparing me.
In my final year, I was lucky enough to secure a one day a week placement alongside my studies. After completing a brief summer placement, I was invited back to take up a more permanent role. The way in which my course was structured allowed me to work one day a week in a planning consultancy learning the ropes. This one day a week placement built up my knowledge significantly, which in turn added a different perspective to my academic studies.
You have recently graduated from Oxford Brookes with a merit in the Integrated Masters MPlan City and Regional Planning course, how did you find it?
Loved it. I know that I will always look back at my time at Oxford Brookes with happiness, for 4 years Oxford became my home from home. The course was useful, equipping me with a skill set that I will use throughout my career. Choosing to do a planning degree meant from the word go my studies were more focused. I really enjoyed the variation in the modules each semester, they ranged from modules in development finance to environmental sustainability and everything in-between. Alongside my final year studies, I completed my dissertation, where I decided to focus in on neighbourhood planning, managing this 15,000-word piece of research whilst also completing 4 other modules really tested my time management skills. However, I made it through and now have a degree and job where I am using all that I learnt.
What would you like to achieve career wise?
Career wise the goal is to become a Chartered Town Planner. Now, having only graduated in June 2017, I am just starting out on my career path as a planner and need to build up my knowledge and skill base. Over the coming 2 years I will be building up the experience needed to apply for Chartered membership. Chartered Town Planners need to be able to demonstrate a wide range of skills and expertise, and maintain these throughout their career. Therefore, whilst the bigger goal is to become a Chartered Town Planner, my goal at this stage is to continue working towards this through building up experience and knowledge at Bell Cornwell.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
Outside of work I like to keep busy. Ensuring I stay active, through cycling, jogging and playing netball.