Graduates

We work with Charityworks to employ graduates on a full time, year long basis in various departments. Through the scheme, graduates are given all the skills they need to build a career at Network Homes and in the wider housing sector.

Find out details about the process and how to apply by visiting the Charityworks website.

Killian Faith-Kelly.jpg

I’ve enjoyed how friendly and welcoming everyone here has been, both socially but also in taking time to discuss their work with me and help me understand how the organisation works. I get a sense from the other people in my directorate that they are all committed to the common goal of improving people’s lives through the provision of affordable housing, and this creates a tangible unity among everyone I work with.

Killian Faith-Kelly, Former Graduate and now Research and Policy Officer

Meet our Graduates

Meet our current intake of Graduates.

How did you find out about Charityworks?

Through my university careers fair. I knew I wanted to get into the non-profit sector so it seemed like a good place to start.

What does the scheme involve?

As well as our placement with Network, it involves a management course which intends to provide us with a greater perspective on the non-profit sector and more refined skills for day-to-day life in a business.

Why did you choose Network Homes?

While writing my dissertation on the impact of austerity, I became increasingly aware of the importance of housing associations and their role in mitigating the housing crisis, so a placement in housing was always something I had in mind. Network in particular stood out due to their new position as head of the G15.

Which departments are you working in?

The Finance Directorate.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing a report on the financial impact of building safety changes on Network. It’s quite an evocative topic so I’d welcome any input from other members of staff.

What challenges have you faced whilst working here?

The can opener on sixth floor is surprisingly challenging to use. Nemesis is a strong word, but it’s certainly up there.

What have you enjoyed most so far during your time here?

Very cliché, but meeting like-minded people who care about similar issues has been a great experience. I also really valued the chance to speak to our residents at the resident engagement events.

What are your plans for the future?

I’d like to get into financial strategy or policy, although I’m unsure about anything more specific than that.  

How did you find out about Charityworks?

I was looking for a graduate job in the civic sector where my work would have an impact. Having studied Economics, the jobs most of my peers were going for didn’t align with what I valued and was wanting out of my working career.

What does the scheme involve?

The scheme is endorsed by the institute of Leadership and Management. It sees graduates undertake a piece of impact research for their organisation alongside attending learning and development workshops (e.g., on managing budgets) and conferences where we hear from leading organisations in the sector.

Why did you choose Network Homes?

Having worked for the homeless charity Shelter, I chose Network Homes, because I was passionate about being part of the solution to ending the housing crisis.

Network's strategy of delivering 1000 homes a year, demonstrated to me their ambition and I knew that it was the right place for me to start my career. Also, Network's commitment to staff training and well-being were strong motivational factors too.

Which departments are you working in?

Currently working for Development in the New Business team. With plans to move across to construction when life returns to some sense of normality.

What are you currently working on?

Currently financially appraising development sites and writing my report on why and how network should start to implement level 2 BIM (Building Information Modelling) processes.

What challenges have you faced whilst working here?

I think adapting from academia to work is challenging as ways of writing reports and communicating are very different. Also, it’s been tough trying to discover what ways I work most efficiently and how I can get my personality across best.

What have you enjoyed most so far during your time here?

Meeting lots of people around the organisation at different levels to discuss my research project. It has been eye-opening and nice to get to know people I would never have had the chance to interact with otherwise and learn about what they do.

What are you plans for the future?

Still trying to figure out what I enjoy doing and where my skills are of most use. 

Will Lewis
Michael Kitching

Graduating to a career in housing

Many of our Graduates find full time roles at Network Homes following their placements. Meet some of our former graduates who are making a career in housing.

Killian came to Network Homes as a graduate in September 2019 and is now a Research and Policy Officer.

How did you find out about Charityworks?

While researching graduate schemes in the non-profit sector. There didn’t seem to be many available, but of the few that I found, Charityworks stood out for me.

Participants in the programme are matched with host organisations through a process that takes account of their preferences regarding things like the type of role they’d like to do and the type of cause they’d like to work towards. All placements last a year, and, in addition to the role at their host organisation, involve development opportunities like conferences and learning sessions with fellow Charityworks graduates, as well as the opportunity to complete a piece of impact research during the placement.

Why did you choose Network Homes?

I chose Network because the role I was offered involved time spent in a variety of different teams, and as someone unsure about where exactly they’d like to work within the non-profit sector, I felt this suited me well. I was also encouraged by what I was able to find out about the organisation online, for example that CEO Helen Evans is also currently Chair of the G15, which gives Network additional opportunities to influence the working of the social housing sector over the course of this tenure.

Which departments are you working in?

My placement has involved me spending time with Marketing and Communications. This has involved writing articles and press releases, improving Network’s website and editing and publishing internal blogs and news items that other teams want to publish.

I’ve also worked with Resident Engagement and Research and Policy. All of these teams fall under the Business Performance and Partnerships Directorate.

What challenges have you faced whilst working here?

I’ve definitely felt challenged by the departure from the flexibility of university life that a full-time job necessitates, and also the extent to which the work I’m doing here differentiates from the kind of work I was doing at university. I’ve begun to adapt to these changes however, and I’ve found the flexibility I’ve been afforded by Network to pursue types of work that I’m particularly interested in, and the willingness of different people across the organisation to have conversations with me about a vast variety of topics, very helpful in this regard.

What have you enjoyed most so far during your time here?

I’ve enjoyed how friendly and welcoming everyone here has been, both socially but also in taking time to discuss their work with me and help me understand how the organisation works. I get a sense from the other people in my directorate that they are all committed to the common goal of improving people’s lives through the provision of affordable housing, and this creates a tangible unity among everyone I work with.

Crystal Nicholson arrived as a Charityworks Graduate in September 2019 and has since become a Resident Engagement Officer.

How did you find out about Charityworks?

Through job searching, it seemed like a really great opportunity because the third sector is often really difficult to get into.

Why did you choose Network Homes?

It seemed like a really great organisation to work for. After speaking to a previous grad it seemed like they offer a lot of support for your personal and professional development. 

What areas did you work in?

I started my placement in Asset Management but I have just started a new role as a Resident Engagement Officer in the Business Intelligence and Improvement directorate. 

What challenges have you faced?

Network Homes is a big organisation and so learning to navigate yourself, understanding the departments and who to ask for information required can sometimes be difficult. But I think it just takes time and practice.

What have you enjoyed most so far during your time here?

I have enjoyed the different kind of projects I've been able to work on. My journey to where I am now was definitely not linear and I was able to work on so many different and interesting projects in a number of different departments. They really supported me as well which I think is great.

Killian Faith-Kelly - Research and Policy Officer
Crystal Nicholson - Resident Engagement Officer