Sophie Bettison has been working for developer Dorchester Living for nearly three years, having joined as part of the company’s graduate scheme seeking a career in sales and marketing. She talks us through what her role entails and the challenges and rewards she finds in the UK housebuilding industry:
“I joined Dorchester Living in September 2014 on the sales and marketing graduate scheme. When I first started for Dorchester Living I was able to work with marketing managers and sales consultants. Having the support and guidance of experienced colleagues was really helpful at the beginning and allowed me to develop my knowledge quickly.
“From my start date to now, I have undertaken various roles in the sales and marketing department and have recently progressed to marketing manager. I feel that the graduate scheme at Dorchester Living has allowed me to progress to the position I’m in now.
“In my current role, I am responsible for the advertising of the new build properties at Heyford Park development in Upper Heyford, Bicester. Typically, this means that I will lead the decisions about where we choose to advertise, our media coverage and overseeing the completion of our show homes.
“Another focus of mine is the sale of Shared Ownership properties – in this regard I will cover all aspects, from viewings to reservations, right the way down to shaking hands on a completed deal. As the only person at Heyford Park dealing with Shared Ownership sales, I’m able to say that it’s an area of confidence that I’ve developed as a result of my time here.
“A career in property has always seemed interesting to me, but the graduate scheme and the career progression I have experienced as a result has more than exceeded my expectations. I studied history and archaeology at Southampton University, simply because I enjoyed those subjects and knew that I would gain a variety of skills.
“Luckily, I have not experienced any problems in my role from not having a housebuilding-related degree. My day-to-day roles are very varied and I could never have expected to be involved in such broad and important projects so early in my career.
“The graduate scheme at Dorchester Living is a six-month role with the potential of full-term employment at the end of the scheme. The majority of graduates that join Dorchester Living through the scheme are offered full-term employment which stands testament to the nature of the process. Dorchester Living employs around 50 people meaning the interaction you get with experienced colleagues is great.
“Looking forward in terms of my work at Heyford Park, the next year will be very busy for our team. We are launching more show homes and further phases of the development project. My focus for the immediate future is to concentrate on cementing my position as marketing manager and continuing with the shared ownership scheme. Looking further ahead, I am aiming to be a sales and marketing director one day.
“The graduate scheme was a fantastic way to join Dorchester Living and begin my career. I would definitely recommend people to look for graduate schemes once they’ve finished their degrees, whether that be in a discipline close to their qualification or further afield to try something new.”