A day in the life of… graduate assistant delivery manager Harry Thorne

April 4, 2018 / Keith Osborne
A day in the life of… graduate assistant delivery manager Harry Thorne

With a role that involves looking after a number of new homes developments for housing association Home Group, graduate assistant delivery manager Harry Thorne is working through a training programme at an organisation that is building thousands of properties to expand its current portfolio of around 55,000 homes in the North East, Midlands and South East.

Here, Harry takes us through a working day that to tell us about the responsibilities, challenges and satisfaction of his job.

7:00am: I wake up, get myself ready and grab a quick breakfast before I’m out the door on my way to the office at King’s Cross. I grew up in Newcastle, which is a great city to live and work in, but commuting in London is an entirely different experience. Even through early morning, there’s always something going on in the capital.

8:15am: A large chunk of my morning is spent doing admin – I reply to emails and catch up with my team on what’s coming up and what we’re working on at the moment. This is normally on several developments we’re involved in, or the final checks on sites that are ready to be handed over to sales.

9:05am: After our catch up, I’m straight into a progress meetings. We look at the key aspects of our individual projects, where we’re at on the development timeline, and any potential risks that could affect or delay the plans. Once those formalities are sorted, it’s right into the thick of it.

10:15am: It’s coat on, and out the door again. Travelling is a huge part of being a delivery manager at Home Group – the role that I’m working towards as part of my graduate programme with the organisation. I can sometimes be travelling only 10 minutes from the office, but today it’s a two-hour journey to Chelmsford.

10:50am: I try to make the most of the time I spend on trains, as there’s a hefty amount to learn in a graduate role. I do most of my reading on the move, looking through contracts and spec sheets. As it became apparent quite early on: “the devil is in the detail”. I enjoy the active and varied nature of the job – there’s always something to think about.

Peter Harrison and Harry Thorne of Home Group

Harry Thorne (right) with colleague Peter Harrison, both graduate trainees with Home Group

1:10pm: Once on-site, I meet with the contractors and developers. We go over what was agreed in the last meeting, and update each other on where we’ve got to. Design process and potential risks are a large part of this – it’s important we’re streamlining our processes to be as efficient as possible, whilst working to health and safety rules and regulations.

2:25pm: After a look around the site, I’m on the move again and on my way back to the office. With our target of building 10,000 homes by 2021, there is always a constant stream of projects coming into the delivery team, so it’s important to keep on top of my workload and fill out my site reports and findings when I’m able to. I’ll take a coffee from the trolley and I’m right into my paperwork.

4:25pm: By the time I’m back at the office I’ve got the bulk of my written work sorted, and I’m already preparing for the next day and getting in touch with colleagues and project partners. I’m often the link between the many operations within Home Group, and this gives me a great opportunity to develop relationships and personal skills.

5.30pm: I’ve finished my tasks for the day and getting ready to leave the office – whether that’s for home or the nearest restaurant is often unclear until I’m out the door! The London office at King’s Cross is very sociable, and there are always invitations for events and meet-ups.

6:35pm: The day has passed without me even realising, and I’m winding down for a relaxing evening at home. I’m not sure what to expect tomorrow, but I know I’ll enjoy it. Every day is different in the delivery team, and ultimately I know I’m getting invaluable experience that’ll help towards my aim of being a delivery manager in the future.


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