Aideen discusses her role as a Graduate Planner. Aideen graduated with a Masters in Planning and Sustainable Development from University College Cork and joined MKO in 2022.
Can you describe your role as a Graduate Planner?
I am a Graduate Planner within the MKO Planning Team, and my responsibilities and tasks vary daily, making my job exciting and allowing me to gain experience in various areas. My responsibilities and tasks are all completed with guidance from my experienced teammates.
Some of my responsibilities include the following:
- Assisting in the compiling of planning reports, appeals, and submissions;
- Attending client meetings and pre-planning meetings with Local Authorities; and
- Going on-site visits and putting up site notices nationwide.
How would you describe the culture at MKO?
I would describe the culture at MKO as supportive, innovative, friendly, and collaborative. Working with a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds who are innovative and motivated by MKO’s success and growth creates a positive and progressive culture. Collaboration occurs not only within the Planning Team but across the whole company. I work closely with the Environmental, Ecology, Ornithology, Landscape and Visual and Project Communications teams. This cross-team collaboration on projects means that as a Graduate, I am not only learning about the planning sector but also about a range of different sectors from a range of other people.
What do you enjoy most about your role at MKO?
I enjoy learning at MKO as it is a busy environment with many innovative and forward-thinking projects, making it an exciting and progressive workplace. Being surrounded by a large planning team and a range of multi-disciplinary teams opens you up to a multitude of knowledge and expertise. I have enjoyed seeing new places all over Ireland when attending site visits. Working on various projects in different sectors, such as renewable energy and commercial and residential developments, has made the role both educational and exciting. As a Graduate Planner, you have a buddy who has been so helpful. My buddy has been a big factor in my learning and development at MKO, which I have been so grateful for.
What do you think future graduates would want to know about MKO?
MKO is a brilliant workplace to learn in. A few elements help to advance learning: the company-wide Monday Morning Meeting, where there is a multitude of knowledge shared, whether that be legislation updates, positive news within the company, updates on social events and general news updates within the planning and environmental sectors. The Planning team also has a weekly meeting with updates on planning news, projects, changes within the sector, and general conversations that are filled with expertise and are extremely valuable for a graduate. MKO has a social committee that ensures there is always an exciting out-of-office event on the agenda where you can meet and socialise with the whole company.
What advice would you give potential applicants to the graduate programme?
I would highly recommend joining MKO as a Graduate. Working in a multi-disciplinary environment not only allows you to gain knowledge in your own sector but also to learn about a range of different sectors and their processes. I enjoy working with and learning from highly experienced teammates who are supportive and motivate your personal development, making starting your career as a graduate planner an enjoyable experience.