Get to know recently promoted Business Support Manager, Ellen Rowley.
Congratulations on your recent promotion to Business Support Manager. Tell us about your new role and how your responsibilities have evolved?
Thank you! Business Support Manager is a new position for Bell Cornwell, as well as for me, so has developed with the needs of the business and what I can offer. I work closely with Partner Diane Hughes to help lead the Business Support team, particularly focusing on administration and marketing. I started here as a temp, tasked with sorting out the archiving, which soon became a permanent administrative role within the Business Support team. My job has evolved very organically to encompass a variety of responsibilities including training, admin, health and safety and elements of IT. I have only recently been introduced to the realm of marketing since my promotion in late February and I am excited about the opportunity to draw from my creative background.
The planning sector can be a complicated industry to be a part of, how was it settling into a role within a planning environment as a non-planner?
I started at Bell Cornwell nearly a year ago and there has been a lot to learn – and still is! I frequently ask my (patient) colleagues lots of questions and try to immerse myself in the world of planning. It is a very technical industry and sometimes feels like it has its own language. Part of my job is to translate the terminology used in a planning consultancy to something a wider audience can understand. If I’m honest, I knew very little about town planning before I arrived at Bell Cornwell but have developed an interest in how our surroundings influence the way that we live and now I know who helps implement that change, it doesn’t just happen. It was easy to settle in, seeing how passionate everyone is about what they do made me want to get involved, but I’ll definitely be leaving the planning to them.
What do you hope to achieve from your new role?
A significant role of the Business Support team is helping the planners achieve their individual objectives but we also have an important part to play in implementing change across the company and in line with the business’ strategy. Bell Cornwell has lots of exciting projects going on at the moment and I am pleased to be involved. I hope to help drive the business forward by contributing my own ideas, enthusiasm and skills to reach the goals in place for achieving the Partners’ vision.
The current situation is a strange one for everyone, how is it impacting your role within a planning consultancy?
It has been challenging to navigate my new role whilst working from home but it is good practice for when lockdown is lifted since I have moved to our London office and the rest of my team are based in our Hook office. We have had to find new ways of communicating effectively and working collaboratively and have done so by utilising our resources and the technology available. We have had to adapt but thankfully a lot of what we do at Bell Cornwell can still be done remotely. It took some time getting everybody fully set up at home and ensuring we can all access what we need in order to continue planning but everyone seems to have managed well. The nature of my job means I speak to everybody every week and it helps with morale and keeping motivated to check in with each other regularly.