"I like the varied career paths offered by a career in housing."
How did you first hear about jobs in housing?
I had successfully completed my degree in Business Studies and was looking to change my career due to the decline in the manufacturing industry in Northern Ireland. I read an article in the local press and saw that there were opportunities for the Graduate Programme within the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).
How did you find further information about a career in housing?
I researched as much as possible about the NIHE using their website and the internet. I also spoke to people that I knew who were already working for them.
What was it that appealed to you when you were thinking about a job in housing?
I liked the varied career paths offered by the Housing Executive. There were opportunities in finance, general administration, IT, and housing management.
How did you get your first job in housing?
I applied for the graduate programme. This is quite an intense and competitive process for a limited number of places. You have to sit an aptitude test before attending interview with some of the NIHE Assistant Directors.
What personal skills and qualifications did you have that helped you secure your first job in housing?
I had already worked for seven years in Engineering and had gained skills in people management, process planning, communication and teamwork. The skills I developed from my previous employment where easily transferable to my new housing career.
What skills & training have you gained since you have had your job in housing?
As part of the graduate programme I had to complete the Post Graduate Diploma in Housing. This provided a sound basis for my career in housing. As part of the graduate programme I was also required to gain my membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
I have also completed an intensive 18 month IT Analyst training programme which required the development of skills such as project management, business analysis, system development and testing. I have found that working within an IT environment provides a constant learning curve with a combination of 'on the job' and formal training courses developing my skills and knowledge base on a daily basis.
Describe a typical day?
I work for the Programme Management and Delivery section of the NIHE IT department. My work involves assisting in the management of various IT projects, data management, system testing and liaising between IT suppliers and the various departments within NIHE. A typical day is a busy day, but rarely are two days the same!
What would you tell people who are interested in a housing career?
There are many opportunities available within a housing career and it is not restricted solely to housing management. Career opportunities also include finance, research, IT, legal services, and the various technical careers which include architecture, building surveying, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.