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Meet Frances, Graduate at Persimmon Homes

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My Name is Frances Bannister I am a second year Group General Management Graduate, currently working in our Group Construction department. 

What inspired you to apply for this role/Persimmon? 

I have always had a keen interest in property and the housing market and upon finishing my studies I was interested in finding a pathway that would allow me to explore this passion and develop new skills and knowledge to confidently enter the industry. I was drawn to Persimmon as they were one the largest and most established British house builders, who had achieved enormous success and demonstrated fierce commercial resilience through turbulent housing markets.

I was also intrigued by Dean Finch’s customer/quality lead vision and ethos for the company’s future. When reading about Persimmon’s commitment to providing affordable and increasingly environmentally conscious homes in sustainable and desirable locations across the UK, I knew I wanted to be a part of creating these communities.  

What do you find most interesting with the sector you are in? 

As an industry house building has so many interesting aspects which this role allowed me to explore. I personally found construction to be a fascinating department both on site and in the office. From climbing up scaffold to do roof inspections, organising deliveries, or planning future build phases it is such an expansive area to work in.

You are able to learn a variety of technical build procedures and solve logistical, operational or customer focused problems on the daily to keep build moving forward. Working on site is such a diverse and challenging environment where you engage with a variety of trades and stakeholders. I met such interesting and knowledgeable people and learnt something new every day, as no two days are the same in construction.  

I also found our land and planning department to be such an interesting area to work in. In the land team you are strategizing for the future of the organisation. Searching for land and collaborating with landowners, councils, and local communities to determine where we can positively expand our company and enrich communities for the future.

Communication in paramount in this department as you engage with key stakeholders such as other developers, commercial organisations, housing associations and local authorities to agree all aspects of development from brick colour to land price. I particularly enjoyed the significant legal, contractual, and conditional planning aspects that this department negotiate and mange which can be lengthy but highly satisfying processes.  

Whether you have a numerical mind for surveying, a considered curiosity for land development, direction and organisation for site management or a passion for selling; there is no end to the opportunities you can find in this industry. At the heart of our business is our customers, and one the most fulfilling experiences you will gain working here is seeing communities grown and lives flourish in the homes you helped to build. 

General thoughts of the scheme 

The Persimmon General management scheme has provided me with a rich and eclectic development pathway into the house building industry that I would never have expected. Having come from a non-construction background it was important for me to find a role that allowed me to explore different technical disciplines whilst learning new skills to find my passion.

This is exactly what persimmon has provided me with. The rotational scheme lets you organically grow within the company and assess your abilities in different departments from land and planning and on-site construction to commercial and customer care. Over my first 12 months I was welcomed into every department in my northeast regional business and received an incredible amount of support and guidance from all levels working closely with directors, contractors, and a variety of stakeholders to cultivate my career pathway.   

Now in my second year, I am currently having a rewarding experience working for 6-months in our Group construction department, mentored by our Group Construction Director. I have been able to assist on exciting upcoming projects and continue to develop my knowledge of the industry having found a keen interest for operations, site efficiency, and construction/business innovations.

It has also opened up the wider persimmon company to me allowing me to travel to different regions and appreciate regional build ideocracies, challenges, improvements, and future construction innovations. However, I am grateful that I still have the opportunity to assess other avenues with a second 6-month placement available to me, which I may use to expand my enthusiasm for strategic land and planning.