My Stantec Story: Building a career as a graduate urban designer with Ingrid Mankelow
October 11, 2023
October 11, 2023
Ingrid, an urban designer in our Reading team, shares the opportunities she’s had to grow as a graduate so far
In the My Stantec Story series, our designers, engineers, marketers, project managers, and leaders come together to share how their career journeys at Stantec have shaped their lives and moved them closer to their goals.
I joined Stantec in September 2022 as a graduate urban designer with Reading’s masterplanning team. My main role involves designing new developments across the UK, working on small-scale housing schemes to larger mixed-use developments. I'm also involved in creating documents that support planning applications and our work experience programme.
I studied a bachelor of arts in urban design, planning, and development, as well as a master of arts in urban design at Oxford Brookes University. There, I developed an interest in masterplanning and a passion for inclusive design and people-centric places. These attributes are evident across Stantec’s portfolio and are in line with their commitment to “design with community in mind”. For me, the opportunity to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team seemed like an exciting and dynamic environment to work in. The graduate scheme was also a key feature that attracted me—in particular the continued support and training with regards to career development—along with being a part of a cohort of like-minded grads.
What I enjoy most is working and collaborating within a multidisciplinary team to design and create new places for people. I also like the variety that my job brings each day, from the people I’m working with, to the type and location of a project and working on a drawing by hand or on my computer.
Through the graduate programme, and from colleagues in my team and office, I’ve received training which has helped me to develop a broad range of skills that are important to my role, and more widely to my personal development. I’ve also received support and guidance in my application for professional chartership. It’s been helpful to speak to others in my office who have recently been successful in their applications. In addition, my team have supported me with my learning goals and aspirations, such as taking on more responsibility and ownership of a project.
For me, the standout project has been Bridging the Gap—a Stantec-led research project studying the role of people and place in transport decarbonisation. This project involved collaborating with academics, transport planners, and future mobility and smart cities experts, among others, to understand and define potential transport futures. My role involved creating place typologies, based on the identified transport futures, to help convey the scenarios to the public at a workshop. Following this, I further developed the typologies, highlighting key aspects and attributes to provide some indication as to how one might live, work, and visit such a place. This work pushed me to consider future trends that may be appearing in new developments in upcoming years.
For me, the opportunity to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team seemed like an exciting and dynamic environment to work in.
I’m excited about my future at Stantec, in particular the opportunities for personal development and professional experience. In the next year or two, I hope to become a chartered member with the Royal Town Planning Institute and a recognised practitioner with the Urban Design Group. I’d also like to continue to work—and build up my experience—with projects that are led by social value and innovation, both nationally and internationally.
Outside of work, I enjoy playing squash, doing yoga, and spending time outside in the countryside. I also enjoy visiting and exploring new places, as well as taking photographs—although not to a professional standard!
At Stantec there are lots of opportunities for personal and career development, which I’ve seen first-hand in the past year. My team, and wider office, have been supportive and have enabled me to develop my skills and experience on a variety of different projects, including research and international. These opportunities create an engaging environment to work in, where you can challenge yourself and be pushed outside your comfort zone—it’s a very rewarding feeling!
At Stantec, we put people first, and for Ingrid, that means having opportunities to work on exciting projects and learning from investment in her professional development. If you want to start your career at Stantec, visit Graduates & Apprentices to find out more.