The things I know

Stuart Winter, Development planner, Jones Lang LaSalle, Edinburgh

- What skills did you have when you graduated?

I graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2003 with a bachelor of land economy degree in planning. It gave me an understanding of theory, law, policy, the application of valuation and a desire to plan for communities in a sustainable fashion.

- What attracted you to planning?

I have admired the natural and built environment since an early age and had a keen interest in geography at school. Planning seemed a logical way to progress my interests.

- What did you learn in your first job?

I began my career in 2003 with Leicester City Council. It taught me that development control is the public face of planning and that you need to be objective and rational in all planning considerations.

- What skills have you had to learn over your career?

The most important skills I have had to develop are the ability to keep an open mind and apply new knowledge to planning situations, and in turn being objective in my judgements.

- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?

Private and public sector experience, my team leaders at Leicester and my line manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, who have all been inspirations.

- What is your career highlight?

My move to the private sector, where I have been able to develop my skills and knowledge through involvement in major projects.

- What have you learnt outside work that has influenced you?

I have a passion for travel. Observing and learning from how things work and appear in other locations can help put a different angle on things.

- What further skills do you aim to obtain or develop?

Strategic planning - visioning and lateral thinking - and my environmental skills are becoming increasingly important.

- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?

It is crucial. Understanding key developments in other professions is essential for planners.

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