Meet Georgina, Business Coordinator at Persimmon Homes

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

My name is Georgina, and I am a Business Coordinator for the Group Energy Networks and Utilities Department at Persimmon Homes. I studied Geography at Loughborough University, particularly interested in climate studies. After witnessing a large anti-development protest in my home village, I completed my dissertation on the impact of large housing developments on village communities. It was this that led me to the Persimmon Homes Graduate Scheme. I began the scheme in September 2021, as part of the first-ever cohort of Graduate Management Trainees at Persimmon. With an open mind, I worked in all operational departments at the West Midlands business.

Having thoroughly enjoyed my 9-week rotation in the construction department, I chose this as my initial 6-month rotation in the second year of the graduate scheme. I achieved my SMSTS, First Aid, and a range of other training for site management. I worked as a trainee assistant site manager for 7 months, including during December, the busiest period for site managers. In March 2023, I was invited to assist the Group Energy Networks and Utilities department with their National Operations Project. After 3 months of working on this project, I was offered a permanent position.

I finished the Graduate Scheme a couple of months early to become the Business Coordinator and have now been enjoying this role for almost 6 months. Additionally, I have recently started the Advanced Management Scheme, which is a great next step after completing the Graduate Scheme.

What is your role and how long have you been at Persimmon?

I have been at Persimmon for just over 2 years, initially completing the Graduate Scheme, and now working as the Business Coordinator for the Group Energy Networks and Utilities Department, which sits within the Group Technical function. My job is all about communication, ensuring that there is excellent collaboration between the different Persimmon businesses. I also work to improve our industry presence and relationships with the energy and utility companies with which we work. I will also be playing a key role in shaping our Energy Transition strategy, helping the business move away from heating our homes with gas.

What inspired you to apply for this role/Persimmon?

One of the great things about completing a Geography degree is that there are so many career options. However, this can also make choosing one career path very challenging. I found that, towards the end of my degree, I was not sure how to kickstart my career or decide upon a specific job role to apply for. Having completed my dissertation around the impact of housing developments, I was drawn to working for a housebuilder. Persimmon’s rotational graduate scheme was very attractive to me as it enabled me to try a range of different functions and job roles, helping me make an informed decision about which job roles suited the skills and knowledge I had gained at university. If you are somebody who is feeling unsure about what to do after completing your degree, a rotational graduate scheme is perfect.

What has been the single most important thing you learned so far in your job?

Particularly in the construction industry, but also in many different sectors, building strong relationships with colleagues and people outside your organisation is crucial. I would encourage everyone to work hard at being approachable, polite and engaged every time they meet someone new. I have developed a great list of contacts that I know I can rely on when I need help. In housebuilding, everyone knows everyone, so building positive relationships and creating positive first impressions will take you a long way.

What would a ‘normal’ day look like for someone in your role?

As a Business Coordinator, no two days are the same. This is one of the reasons that I love my role. I am responsible for creating structure and tasks within my day. I have overall, long-term goals that I have to achieve, but it is up to me to discover how to achieve them. This flexible and self-driven work is perfect for me. As an example, next week I am in the South Coast office on Monday, hosting some Utilities training for our Technical team there. I will travel to our Severn Valley office ready for Tuesday, where we are conducting some research into the new low-carbon technologies in use on a development near Bristol. On Wednesday and Thursday, I will work from my usual office in the West Midlands, analysing the data and writing up a case study report from the findings of our research. On Friday, I will work from home, hosting several video review calls with our multi-utility contractors, who lay all the pipes and cables on our developments.

What do you find most interesting about the sector you’re in?

The construction industry is changing at pace. I am interested in the innovations and new technologies that are created in response to changes in legislation. There are always new ways to make the construction industry more productive, efficient and environmentally friendly.

What is the culture like?

At Persimmon Homes, each office is different. Some have a family feel, some are very fast-paced and engaging, and some are young and vibrant. Overall, we embody our values and have a large focus on the customers.

Have you had the opportunity to get involved in any activities outside work?

The West Midlands office, where I completed my Graduate Scheme and now work at least two days a week, regularly hosts volunteering days in the local community. So far, I have painted a school and worked in a charity’s warehouse packaging boxes of toiletries for those in need. There are also other activities such as bake-offs, group walks, and socials which help boost morale in the office.

How important is diversity to you and what is Persimmon doing in this space at the moment?

Diversity is very important to me. I believe that a great team includes people from all backgrounds who can use their varying experiences to tackle problems from different perspectives. Persimmon has many initiatives for Diversity and Inclusion. For example, there is regular training on this topic held throughout the business. Recently, I have been attending webinars with the new Women’s Network. This is open to all members of staff at Persimmon, not just those who identify as women. People from all across Persimmon attend the webinars on a range of subjects with some inspiring guest speakers to talk about issues uniquely experienced by those who identify as women and how to make women feel more included in a very male-dominated industry.

How did you find the application process?

The application process with The Bright Network was very slick and well-organised. I was kept well-informed about each stage of the application process. Although challenging, I found the different activities engaging and interesting and felt as though they gave me a good opportunity to display my different skills and knowledge in different ways.

Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Persimmon?

The corporate website is your best friend. Have a look at some of the recent statistics or achievements from the company and come to the interviews prepared. LinkedIn is also great for seeing some of the great events, training and volunteering that have been happening across the business. Research industry trends and issues to be well-informed about the challenges facing the housebuilding industry at the moment. The graduate recruiters are looking for future leaders for Persimmon so be confident and friendly, and display qualities that you would want to see in a manager.