Robin Hutchinson, now 28, is a Senior Landscape Architect and Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute.
I wrote a ‘day in the life’ blog around 4 years ago, shortly after joining Macgregor Smith. While the sentiment of the original still holds true, my role within the company has evolved and I have decided to give my blog a bit of an update.
Since my first rendition there have been a number of changes; I am now chartered, my hair has thinned, my waist has thickened, and my jowls are now more pronounced. What has remained constant though, is the support of great colleagues and my engagement in varied and interesting work.
I recently moved out to the countryside and consequently my commute has lengthened – however, it is a very enjoyable start to the day. During the summer months I cycle as frequently as possible and during the winter months I use the park & ride and jog (legs allowing) to and from work. I tend to start the office day with 3 cups of thick black ‘artisan’ coffee. A number of colleagues claim abstinence, but I am a full convert now and I may even grow a moustache and beard next year just to attain full ‘hipster’ points.
While I am savouring the fervently filtered coffee, I will load up my emails and give myself a morning briefing. I set myself a series of tasks to accomplish through the duration of the day, allowing some wiggle room in case an ‘urgent’ email or phone call finds its way through to me.
I am currently working on a number of projects including The Bargate Quarter in Southampton, Marlborough Primary School in Kensington, Shanghai Business Park and Teesside Park, which vary from large office and retail developments to medium sized mixed-use heritage sites and education schemes – each requiring a different set of skills and understanding. Aside from the interesting and extensive range of work, the team makes it a real pleasure to come in to the office. Whether it be technical, design advice or simply terrible and predictable puns (Cormac / Rosie) – the office is often filled with intellectual stimulus. I work regularly with a few members of the Macgregor Smith team but seek wisdom from the whole office who haven’t let me down yet. Where I can, I help my colleagues to solve any issues, and where needed I ask them for advice.
I have been partaking in a number of CPD sessions with the aim of sharing my experience and knowledge with the office, which can only be a Good Omen (one for the Terry Pratchett / Neil Gaiman fans this time). It is great that work is an environment which encourages knowledge sharing at all levels – we all have different backgrounds and areas of expertise.
Last year I was fortunate enough to pass the Landscape Institute Chartership exam and now I have lots of letters and additional responsibilities to my name. The directors were very supportive throughout the process and helped me to gain a variety of practical experience; I even got to walk up a windy hill and erect height markers to get a better understanding of LVIA. The ‘good cop bad cop’ mock examiners were particularly valuable – can you guess which director was which?
On a day to day basis we work with a whole host of other specialists and a wide variety of clients. This variety of cross-company working is rewarding and it allows us to gain industry-wide perspective and to form well rounded and comprehensive packages of work which we can successfully take from inception through to post completion.
At the end of the day I head home back to my lovely wife and my savage ‘pet’ cat “Henry Hunter Hutchinson”, HHH for short. I would say ‘all in all’ that it is a pretty good day.