David discusses his role as a Planner at MKO.

David graduated with a degree in Spatial Planning and Environmental Management from Technological University Dublin and joined MKO in 2020.

Can you describe your typical day as a Planner?

I joined the MKO Planning Team as a Graduate Planner in October 2020 and was promoted to Planner last year. I have gained experience across several sectors, including commercial, residential and renewable energy. Throughout my time here, I have been the planning consultant and project manager across various projects. As part of my role, I have overseen and coordinated a large number of planning applications, from the first kick-off meeting to the final grant of permission (in most cases).

Each day challenges me with a new task, which is something I enjoy about my job. On top of the surprises that come my way, some of my key responsibilities include:

  • Preparation of planning application documentation;
  • Conducting site visits;
  • Client liaison throughout the planning process;
  • Working with and managing multidisciplinary teams (architects, engineers, archaeologists, etc.);
  • Project management; and
  • Planning validation checks and compilation of planning applications.

How would you describe the culture at MKO?

MKO value their employees and makes a conscious effort to ensure everyone is happy and comfortable in the workplace. Due to the multiple teams constantly working together, it’s only a matter of time before you get to know and create relationships with the other staff members across the company. The monthly social events and the weekly baking and coffee each Monday morning gives everyone time to mix and catch up in a relaxed social setting before kicking off another week. MKO prioritise the well-being of their staff, which is something that makes a big difference when working with any company. The new MKO Dublin office opened before Christmas, allowing me to relocate closer to home. Having a base in Dublin means I can still further my career with MKO, work on exciting projects, and work with great people.

What do you enjoy most about your role at MKO?

Being part of a company that thrives on making positive contributions on a local and global scale motivates the staff to be at their best at all times. When you are involved in projects from the beginning and then see the final product once it is complete, it gives you great satisfaction.

What do you think future graduates would want to know about MKO?

There is no shortage of work in the company, which results in endless opportunities to learn and progress in your career. MKO has set up a career development programme to allow employees to track their progress and create a structured path to the next stage of their careers. This is carried out alongside your direct report/line manager, who will assist and ensure that your work targets are met. MKO is constantly encouraging their people to build on their education and offers to support further studies across all teams within the company.

What advice would you give potential applicants to the graduate programme?

Say yes to as many opportunities as you can and ask questions! College is a great place to learn and develop your skills but gaining experience and expanding your knowledge through work is what makes the difference.