Shanly Academy Trainee

Coming from a theatre school I was always keen to pursue a career in acting or dancing when I was younger. Towards the end of my college year I felt this was not the route I wanted to take anymore and having a family history in horse racing and being a regular horse rider since I was 5 years old, I decided I wanted to become a Jockey - how hard could it be? I was lucky enough to get a job in a large yard based in Newmarket, Suffolk, however I soon had a huge reality check when I realised how hard it was to make it as a jockey, let alone ride your 'claim' out.

After a year or so of riding out in the mornings, I undertook an apprentice course and during my time as an Apprentice Jockey I rode 20 winners.  Last year I decided, realistically this wasn't going to be my future career in terms of progression with the time scale I had and I felt like I had achieved what I set out to do within the industry; it was time for a new challenge.

I first started working for Shanly Homes in June 2017 as a Payment Clerk within the North London region's Commercial Department. This was a great introduction to the company and really helped me develop my admin skills as I had never worked in an office before. I then saw the Shanly Academy advertised on the Shanly Home's website and mentioned the role to my Managing Director.  After 6 months in the Payment Clerk role, my Managing Director offered me a space on the Shanly Academy starting a fresh from January 2018. I was very excited as this was a fantastic opportunity being able to move through a variety of different departments spending 2-3 months in each. I have been able to learn every aspect of the company and what it takes to create these beautiful bespoke homes from land purchase all the way through to dealing with customers after care needs.

I started in Technical which gave me a detailed insight into the drawings and the obstacles, different designs and plans each specific site needed. Next was Sales, and it was great to see first-hand the different responsibilities for keeping the marketing up-to-date in the ever-changing market and learning how to deal with potential buyers. Build was something I thoroughly enjoyed, our Build Director gave me various tasks and information on the targets we must meet - I would put together my own programmes and learn about what makes a good new build home. Commercial covered the three main aspects which were Estimating, Surveying and Buying. Estimating was very beneficial to me, putting together the information into the budgets really helped my knowledge of construction with everything we had to consider in the costs. Surveying and buying gave me an insight into what commercial look for in subcontractors and what materials are needed in what quantities for each development.

I am currently in the Land department which has started off fantastic and I am really enjoying my time in this department. So far, we have put together appraisal stacks for new sites and untaken lots of market research. I am looking forward to learning more about this department as my time goes on. My final Department will be Customer Care which will more insight into the companies after care service.

The Shanly Academy has helped me settle in to the company even further by meeting different colleagues from the various departments that I wouldn't necessarily have crossed paths with in my Payment Clerk role. d Each Line Manager to date has given me all the support I needed to get the best out of each role.

Shanly Homes is a great company to work for with so many opportunities available for enthusiastic people looking to broaden their knowledge about construction and progress in their careers. The support I have received during my time as an Academy Trainee is second to none and I cannot thank the company and my Line Managers enough who have put in the time and effort to help me to progress. Another added perk of this company is the social events/sporting activities they hold (I can be quite competitive!). This is a great reward to the employees and helps with a good work/life balance. 

For me, this placement has been far better than any university degree; I have been able to train and learn in the workplace and have been able to see first-hand from start to finish the construction of these homes rather then read about it in a text book.

Sophie Killoran who joined Shanly Homes in 2017 is Academy Trainee for the North London Region.