Gemma has joined Vail Williams as a graduate planner from Oxford Brookes University, where she recently completed a Masters Degree in Spatial Planning.
She studied her undergraduate degree in geography at the University of Brighton and gained public sector work experience with West Berkshire Planning Policy team, where she worked on the evidence base for their Local Plan Review.
With a passion for planning policy, Gemma will now learn her trade working alongside Vail Williams planning partner Suzanne Holloway, who was recently nominated one of the top 50 Women of Influence in planning by industry magazine, The Planner.
Gemma said: “I’m delighted to have taken up a graduate position with Vail Williams. It will give me invaluable experience working on a variety of projects in the Gatwick diamond region and beyond. I can’t wait to see what the next two years will bring.”
Gemma will be based in the 13-strong planning team but will also work across a variety of other disciplines including valuation, which will help her on her journey as she trains for her APC qualification to become a chartered planner in two years’ time.
“Vail Williams have been so supportive of my study ambitions, enabling me to work part-time initially as I complete my dissertation. And with a mentor like Suzanne to help me on my APC journey, I feel confident about what the future holds.”
Gemma is currently finalising her 15,000 word dissertation on local air quality management and land use planning, after which she will work full-time at the property consultants.
Over the course of her training, Gemma will gain experience working on several commercial and residential schemes across Sussex and beyond.
Stephen Oliver, partner and business development manager for Vail Williams, commented: “We’re pleased to welcome Gemma to our growing team here in Crawley and look forward to supporting her as she embarks on her APC to become a chartered planner.”
With former APC examiners amongst its ranks, Vail Williams will support Gemma throughout her training, providing funding for formal training and practical on-the-job experience to inform her portfolio of work, as well as interview advice and insight from former interview panelists.
Gemma will be based at the firm’s Crawley office and started in August.
Two more graduates, Matt Cureton and Claudia Harley, joined the firm’s offices in Southampton and Woking respectively, and another two are due to join in Reading and Southampton imminently.