- Where did you study planning?
I took my degree at the University of the West of England and then returned to Northern Ireland to do a postgraduate diploma in planning at Queen's University Belfast.
- What skills did you have when you graduated?
The main skill I learned from planning school was the ability to make balanced judgements on planning problems, in which there are often conflicting interests.
- What attracted you to planning?
A love of the natural environment and a desire to protect it, mixed with a general fascination with building design and how urban areas work.
- What did you learn in your first job?
How to communicate with people and the role that politics has in planning.
- What skills have you had to learn over your career?
Communication and presentation, people management, negotiation and commercial awareness.
- What or who have been the biggest influences on your career?
I have had a variety of jobs since graduating and the people I worked with have all influenced me to varying degrees. I have learned to emulate the qualities that I admired in them.
- What is your career highlight?
Strategic Planning's success in winning the RTPI Small Planning Consultancy of the Year Award this month has to be well up there.
- What have you learnt outside work that has influenced your career?
Being a keen sportsman has taught me the value of competitiveness and teamwork.
- What further skills do you aim to obtain or develop?
Improved leadership techniques, enhanced communication skills and maintaining a good working knowledge of policy and legislation.
- How important is it to keep abreast of developments in allied professions?
In the current economic climate, it is important to be in constant communication with other professions as potential sources of business.