27/11/2023

My graduate journey

A young male graduate trainee manning the reception desk. He is wearing a light grey shirt and a headset for taking calls.

Luke Sheppard, who joined our graduate scheme in 2022, shares how his experience at Hightown has been so far. 

"Since a young age I have always loved learning new things and studying so it felt right for me to complete a three-year degree course in Business Studies and a one-year master's degree in Real Estate.  

I then moved into a variety of roles in hospitality and local government before joining Hightown in April 2022 as a Tenant Services Administrator. In this role I worked in Housing, Lettings, Income Recovery and Reception. 

After five months, I applied for the Graduate Scheme, hoping to combine my desire for personal development and learning with this varied role at Hightown. My application was successful, and I subsequently joined the Graduate Scheme in September 2022. So far on the scheme, I have worked in five teams including Housing, Home Ownership, Development, Asset Management and Communications. So in a relatively short space of time, I have been lucky enough to gain experience across the business and it's been great getting to know everyone.  

Each placement has brought something different! I feel the year has been incredibly rewarding and boosted both my contribution to Hightown and my understanding of the links between different teams. It has been a year of my life that has flown by and one I can take a lot from.    

Picking highlights from the Graduate Scheme has been challenging, with each placement bringing different experiences together to build on one another. Although one common thread that has run through all my placements – getting out and meeting residents and partner organisations. I have realised just how much I enjoy meeting people, for example in the context of handovers and resident involvement events. I feel this has strengthened my relationship building and communication capabilities by working with large and diverse groups of people. 

We might not always realise it, but Hightown provides many opportunities to enjoy ourselves outside of work hours. I have taken part in charity football, quiz nights and the couch to 5k running. It’s been a real bonus to take part in out of work activities that I really enjoy whilst at the same time strengthening working relationships. I thank the various groups responsible for organising these activities.

I am looking forward to my second year on the Graduate Scheme and taking up the opportunity of two deep dive placements. I intend to make a difference and build my skills and experiences as I look to complete year two of the Graduate Scheme."