Natalie Sturrock - Head of Housing, Graduate 2008

"I went to University as a mature student when my son started primary school, graduating from Exeter University in 2007 with a BA (Hons) in Sociology. I started working at Hightown on the Graduate Trainee programme in 2008, undertaking placements in Home Ownership, Housing and Service Review.

"I really enjoyed my time on the programme as it gave me lots of experience in different areas of the business which helped me to develop my understanding of the whole organisation. I had a mentor who was able to offer advice and support, but also found that all staff were friendly and supportive. This support from colleagues helped me to build my confidence as well as developing my knowledge of the housing sector.

I had a mentor who was able to offer advice and support, but also found that all staff were friendly and supportive.

"I have always been interested in the customer facing side of housing, and in 2010 I joined the Home Ownership team on a permanent basis as a Home Ownership Officer. After three years, I returned to the Housing Team as a Senior Housing Officer, which I did for a short time before being promoted to Housing Management Team Leader. I was still keen to develop my knowledge and skills, so in 2014, I undertook a three month secondment as a Contract Manager in the Care and Supported Housing department. Following this, I returned to the General Needs Housing team, and in 2015 I took up a post in the Senior Management Team as Head of Housing, with overall responsibility for Hightown’s housing management, lettings and income recovery services.

"The graduate training programme gave me a strong foundation of skills, knowledge and experience that have enabled me to pursue a successful career in housing and achieve a senior position at Hightown."