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Life on the Cratus Intern Scheme – The story so far


By Luca Difato

As the first two months as a Cratus Intern in the Planning team comes to an end, it presents a great opportunity to reflect on the experience so far ahead of a move to the Communities team in November.

I was drawn towards the Cratus Intern Scheme as it offered the chance to gain vital experience across different sectors with the bonus of gaining a view to what life is like at a fast-paced agency. The programme is unique as it divides my time evenly across each of Cratus’ divisions, and for me that meant beginning my journey with the Planning team.

Having left University in 2021 with a degree in Politics and International Relations and spending the following year in the charity sector, I had little technical knowledge on matters relating to planning or development. Fast-forward two weeks and I was door-knocking in Bristol talking to residents about building density and the Community Infrastructure Levy. This was possible thanks to an extremely knowledgeable and approachable team, and through them I have been able to gain the insights and confidence needed to become a (hopefully) useful member of the team. I have thoroughly enjoyed assisting on large projects such as political audits while taking responsibility for my own tasks which have included weekly client reports and extensive research into committees, local politicians, and community stakeholders.

Moreover, this experience has taken me out of the comforts of Cratus’ lovely workspace on many occasions and provided me with the opportunity to gain an increased understanding of the different stages of the planning process. I have particularly enjoyed the following:

  • Door-knocking in Bristol to gauge local support for a project.
  • Attending a public exhibition in Ealing and witnessing the consultation process first- hand.
  • Mobilising support and interacting with University students and local businesses in Guildford.

Outside of Planning, the wider team has been extremely welcoming, and I have been taken back by the organisation and cohesiveness of everyone involved with Cratus. As my graduation coincided with a pandemic, this internship has been my first time working physically in an office, therefore obstacles concerning this transition would be inevitable. Thankfully, the versatility of Cratus’ office space and the understanding and forthcoming nature of the team has made this shift as smooth as possible and has allowed me to carry out my work to the best of my ability, regardless of where I am logging in from.

My time at Cratus has been invaluable to my development thus far and I can’t wait to gain new perspectives and further expertise as I continue this journey with the Communities team over the next two months.

Life on the Cratus Intern Scheme – The story so far