Expectations at Tibbalds

Opinion piece
Tibbalds have introduced a new annual programme of paid annual internships to help those studying in the built environment to get a feel for life in a busy studio environment. Our first intern, Kieran Easton, has joined us for a six week period during July and August. He’s currently studying at UCL and is using his time at Tibbalds to get a feel for the range of projects that we get involved with. Here, he sets out what he hopes to gain from the experience.

Having recently finished my second year studying Urban Planning, Design and Management at University College London, I was looking for some experience to be able to explore the professional world of planning and expand my knowledge. Urban Design has fascinated me since day one, and having produced a comprehensive masterplan for the redevelopment of Stratford in one module, the opportunity to learn more about this area with Tibbalds was one I jumped at.

There are many aspects of the internship that I am looking forward to, and I want to get the most out of the experience by learning from the projects and people around me. I hope the opportunity will enable me to expand my knowledge in all areas of the planning system, particularly in Urban Design.

There are many parallels between the study environment and workplace environment, and I hope that this experience helps this transition. Whilst learning to work as part of a team, negotiating, questioning and learning run across both environments – the workplace will now add the variables of clients, budgets and timeframes into the equation, and I really look forward to the challenge this brings. All work undertaken must ultimately meet the clients’ requirements, and it will be interesting to find out about how this partnership is formulated and managed. I look forward to working as part of a team to meet the dynamic needs of the client.

Whilst the projects and case studies we have investigated at university have often been built and analysed many times over, at Tibbalds I greatly anticipate being able to work on live projects. These projects will likely change, morph and alter as certain obstacles appear, which will require a dynamic response using mediation and communication skills. I look forward to this uncertainty and working in a creative environment to deliver a common goal. The opportunity to learn from the others and continue to develop and improve my skills is one I will relish.

Furthermore, it will be interesting to learn more about how professionals mediate between different parties who have a vested interest in a project. I hope this time spent with Tibbalds will help in merging my theoretical knowledge with the more practical sides of the industry. The decisions made throughout these projects concern real people, and therefore the impacts will be more personal to all parties involved. This is probably the biggest difference between the academic and workplace environment, and will be a complex but rewarding challenge.

All aspects of the planning world intrigue me, and it is the variety of these projects and the people that are involved in the process that I hope to learn the most from. I hope to learn more about how the company wins business, how Tibbalds ensures representative community engagement, and what the first stages are when beginning a project from scratch.

I hope to make the most out of this opportunity to work with professionals who are at the cutting edge of their field, working on some of the most exciting projects that will shape London and areas further afield.

Find out more about paid internships at Tibbalds by emailing the office: mail@tibbalds.co.uk