Cohort 9 – Housing Strategy and Policy Officer
Name: Lindsay Roches
Current job title: Housing Strategy and Policy Officer (Inverclyde Council)
Internship/Placement role: Graduate Management Trainee (Wheatley Group)
Degree: Social Sciences
Where are you based: Inverclyde, Scotland
I’m originally from Edinburgh, I moved to Perth to study, but like most graduates I was at a loss when university came to an end. From my volunteering experience and my degree, I knew I wanted to have a meaningful career that was for social purpose. The GEM programme afforded me a unique opportunity to work and continue to learn at the same time. It surprised me how vast the housing sector can be, through my graduate role at the Wheatley Group and the learning from the GEM Programme, I was provided with a great overall exposure to all things housing. I have always been interested in research, policy, and people; at the end of the programme I had housing to add to that, which pushed me into a strategic role in a local authority.
The GEM Programme
The GEM programme has helped me to see myself as a future leader; it’s given me the confidence to want to be the best I can be. Through the GEM Shacks, I met so many interesting and inspiring people that have pushed me to want to be as successful as them. No two people’s housing career seems to be the same, which has motivated me into building my own career in a way that I wanted. Each of the GEM Shacks took me on a different learning journey and being in a diverse cohort highlighted the geographical variances of housing throughout the UK.
What do you enjoy about your current role?
I am involved with all housing matters for Inverclyde Council; this means that no two projects or tasks are the same. As it’s a stock transfer authority, I’m not directly dealing with tenants, I’m looking at things strategically, which is helping me to think creatively and forces me to make effective relationships with partners.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to apply?
You’ll be surprised how much you didn’t know about yourself, the GEM programme will support you in unique ways that other graduate programmes can’t. It’s alright if you don’t have any housing knowledge, the GEM programme helps you to find a role for yourself by presenting new challenges that will make you a resilient professional, with a career in housing.