Apprenticeships are not just for those beginning their career, they can also be a great opportunity for those looking for a change in direction. Terri McDonald tells us about her role with our Development team.
Born in Wolverhampton, but raised in London, Terri was looking to move back to the West Midlands to be closer to her family, but was also looking for a change in direction for her career.
Terri said: “I was working as a legal disrepair surveyor, which was quite different to the role I do now. When I saw the role, I thought it looked so fun!
“I had heard about Midland Heart and seen signposts on buildings across the area where I lived, and I had previously worked for a local authority, so I knew quite a bit about them.”
She got a role with our Development team as an Apprentice Project Manager and is in the thick of building new homes on a number of different sites across the West Midlands.
Terri commented: “I got experience of both pre and post development activities and processes so that I can decide which direction I want to go in when I finish.
“I spend one day a week working from site and attend our whole team meetings every couple of weeks. I get involved with everything, I have spent a few weeks with our quality manager, Tony Hopkin, been to the factory that builds modular houses, had defect training, been to visit customers with any repairs problems, site meetings, and the handovers where we meet very happy customers to give them the keys to their new home.
"I work with all of our project managers, the new business managers who get the land and opportunities to build new homes and when they start to build they handover to the post team who manage the construction. The team all work together though to help out so that a project fits together nicely.
Terri didn’t need to complete her 12 month apprenticeship as there was an opportunity for her to progress into a full time post after just eight months and continue to help Midland Heart to achieve its ambition of building 2,400 new properties in the next four years.
"I took a massive pay cut to do this, but I know it’s not forever as I will come out with experience and hopefully a role.
“I like the way Midland Heart is as an organisation, it feels homely. People are friendly, I work in other offices and people make you feel so welcome, and that is the same everywhere you go.”
Terri was offered the job and couldn’t be happier.
She said: ““When I first applied to do this apprenticeship it was because I wanted to use the skills that I already had within construction and develop them so I was able to take on a new role. I never in a million years thought that 8 months into my apprenticeship I would have been offered a permanent role.
“I am over the moon that Midland Heart was able to offer me such an outstanding opportunity. The support from Midland Heart as an organisation and all my team members has given me the confidence to know I have made the right decision. I have gone from assisting project managers on their schemes to having numerous schemes of my own. “
So is there any advice she would give to others looking to launch their career in development?
“Be prepared for a busy schedule.
“You are looking at everyone’s schemes so you need to keep your diary organised and up to date, but it is nice to be able to see all schemes and how they are progressing.
“The role is so nice I really enjoy it. I really would recommend it.”