Interning with the Tibbalds Planning Team

Written by
Roza sketch copy

This summer we welcomed Rosa into an internship with the planning team as part of our annual programme of internships at Tibbalds. Rosa tell us how the experience has been for her.

Opinion piece

Over the summer, I have been working at Tibbalds as a planning intern at Tibbalds. I have just completed the MPlan City Planning post-graduate degree at UCL, where I received a well-rounded understanding of the English planning system and placemaking and design principles.

I decided to undertake the internship at Tibbalds this summer because I wanted more exposure to the English planning system, as I am originally from the US, and to gain practical experience working in the field. More specifically, I wanted to experience the private sector, as all my previous experience had been in the public sector. Throughout the 6 weeks of my internship, Tibbalds provided me the opportunity to experience the day-to-day reality of working in planning consultancy.

I worked mostly on the planning side of things during my time at Tibbalds. My major project for the duration of the internship was preparing a change of use application for a railway arch in Southwark. I led on the day-to-day work of that application with support from Leanne. I reviewed the relevant policies, drafted the planning statement and covering letter, and completed the planning application forms, in addition to liaising with the client, architects and letting agent regarding the requirements for submitting the application.

Beyond that, I provided support to the planning team by researching for various tenders and planning inquiries, uploading documents for multiple planning application submissions, and taking notes at different meetings. I also had the opportunity to do a bit of work on the urban design side of things, and I was able to lay out a parcel on an emerging masterplan and provide support with some visuals.

My time at Tibbalds really allowed me to use the breadth of the skills developed during my studies, such as research, report writing and teamwork, and to place them into the real-world context. I gained valuable knowledge and insight into the planning system from the perspective of the private sector and learned about everything that goes into preparing a planning application. I think one of the most interesting aspects of working in a consultancy is the variety of projects one is able to work on – there are projects of all scales and types and of different geographical locations, and I’m lucky in that I was able to learn about and participate in multiple projects during my internship. I most appreciated that the work Tibbalds does aligns with my professional values – Tibbalds vets their projects and centres quality of place and public benefit at the centre of their work.

I’ve really enjoyed my time at Tibbalds and am grateful to have spent the summer here. The entire team at Tibbalds has been lovely and so supportive during my time here. Everyone has made me feel like a part of the team and has always been ready to answer any questions and provide insight into their work. Coming in to the office a few times a week allowed me to build relationships and get to know the team better, and made communicating and working together much easier than being fully remote. I fully recommend this internship to any student looking to gain experience in real-world planning.