The things I know - Sarah Bevan, Planning director, Scott Brownrigg

- What skills did you have when you graduated?

A BA (Hons) in urban development and policy at the University of the West of England and an MA in town planning at the University of Westminster gave me a foundation in planning with an emphasis on urban design and sustainable development.

- What attracted you to planning?

I was interested in architecture and human geography and all the facets that shape our towns and cities.

- What did you learn in your first job?

As a planning consultant with WS Planning in Reigate, I got to know PPG2 intimately. This provided a rounded knowledge of the planning system and development control. I also found out how people-focused the profession is and learned to hone my communication skills.

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

Aside from learning to be a good negotiator, leader and project manager, I've specialised in design-led planning and urban regeneration.

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

Working in London for ten years I have been hugely influenced by the city's richness and the fascinating projects I have taken on, including the royal parks and London Bridge and Victoria stations. Of particular note, I worked with Michael Lowndes for eight years and learned a great deal from him.

- What is your career highlight?

As my knowledge and experience grows, projects continue to reward, inspire and surprise me.

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

Visiting other cultures from New York to Bangkok has encouraged me to push boundaries and try new things.

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

I believe that Scott Brownrigg's cross-disciplinary, creative environment encourages a more holistic approach to projects.

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

As professional boundaries blur we must link closely on current issues.

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