Rachel Coles (nee Lim)

Studied: 
BSc City and Regional Planning (2006); MSc Regeneration Studies (2007)
Current Job: 
Principal Planner, Tetlow King Planning, Bristol

Why did you choose Cardiff University as a place to study?

Good city, excellent department with good reputation, accredited course, friendly lecturers who were helpful in answering questions. Good tour on the open day and friendly students.

What was the best thing about your time as a student at Cardiff?

Making good friends, exploring the city and Wales which is a lovely place, and good teaching and library facilities.

What thing or person inspired you most whilst you were a Cardiff University student?

The thing that inspired me was the impact of planning on local people. How a badly planned regeneration scheme will be the home for people in the future and the need to influence places and spaces for the better.

Stephen Crow’s lectures were inspiring, he knew so much and delivered it with character and passion which was infectious!

What one thing would you tell someone else about the School of Planning and Geography at Cardiff?

It’s a friendly department in an amazing building with committed staff where you will be prepared for the world of work. Also the opportunity for a sandwich course was a great opportunity to see planning as a job and the help received in securing a placement was welcome.

How did your degree most help you in the career or job you have now chosen?

It was the perfect platform on which to build my career. It gave me all the theory and background knowledge to launch into a job in a planning consultancy.

Tell us a bit about your current job, how you got into what you are doing and what you enjoy about it most.

I gained a job at Tetlow King after graduating from MSc Regeneration Studies. I have been involved in a wide range of projects but particularly enjoy our areas of specialism – Retirement Communities and Affordable Housing. These are more focused on issues which I did not learn about in a more mainstream consultancy but are constantly evolving areas in which to work.

What opportunities do you feel have opened up to you as a result of being a student at the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography?

Having degrees from Cardiff means that employers are aware that you have a good and RTPI recognised qualification. This is crucial, particularly in the tough economic climate an accredited course will stand you in good stead for future employment.