Megan Downes

Property Development and Planning - BSc (Hons)

When Megan chose to study  BSc Property Development and Planning  she wasn’t sure what to expect. But after gaining fundamental knowledge and skills in design and planning, she now feels confident to pursue a career in her desired industry.

“I knew I was interested in a career in planning. I just didn’t know what course to study to get there. The prospect of a planning degree interested me; finding out why buildings and cities are constructed in a certain way and how it is influenced by the way in which we live. The range of avenues with a planning degree also made it an attractive choice. 

Prior to me applying for BSc Property Development and Planning, I assumed courses based around construction and planning included civil engineering, surveying, real estate or architecture but after researching, I found that Birmingham City University offered a course specifically in planning. 

Working in the planning industry requires you to work with a range of different people. This course has enabled me to have this experience, which has provided me with strong interpersonal and communication skills. I am now confident to lead or work in a group, which I hope will benefit me in my future career. 

I have always been given a lot of support, whether it be regarding assignments and modules or future career options. Our course leaders and lecturers always keep us informed about events, work experience opportunities and part time work within our industry. In the same way whenever I reach out to the Careers+ team, they provide me with advice to enhance my LinkedIn profile as well as advice on how to create a professional portfolio. I feel this has given me a competitive advantage when applying for jobs and going into the industry. 

Taking on the role of a Student Ambassador for the university has given me a sense of pride, while representing the CEBE faculty. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of Open Days where I’ve been able to share my experience with applicants who are thinking of doing the course. I really enjoyed talking to potential new students about how there is more to the construction industry than at first sight and the range of careers it has to offer. One of the main reasons I chose to take on this role was so I could share my experience of the application process and why I chose to pursue a planning degree with prospective students. Representing the CEBE faculty is a role I feel proud to hold. 

Being a Student Ambassador has not only allowed me to earn while I study but it has enabled me to improve on a range of skills. I have indefinitely developed my interpersonal skills, as well as my confidence and ability to effectively work in a team. 

Throughout my university experience I feel that I have matured in many ways. I’ve learned that there are always opportunities if you put the work in and that even if you don’t always succeed, there is always a lesson to be learnt. I hope to join a planning graduate scheme when I finish my course, allowing me to use the skills from my degree to confidently proceed into industry. 

‘I AM BCU’ makes a bold statement about what being part of BCU has enabled you to achieve as an individual. Representing my faculty and the university was never a challenge for me, as it was something that came naturally, due to simply being honest about my time here. The skills my course and lecturers have helped me develop will stand with me in the future.”  

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