Gemma Rickaby, Digital Development Coordinator - Cala Group

Find out more about Gemma's experience

 Hi I’m Gemma and I started my career at Cala as a Sales & Marketing Graduate with Cala North, working on development marketing at a regional level, before being seconded to Business Change in 2019. I was lucky enough to be a core member of the SAC’s Project Team, who helped designed, build, and launched Salesforce across the business, and more recently launch our new website. Working on a number of transformation projects lead me to my role in Digital Development, which I love.

A huge part of my International Tourism Management degree was focused on marketing, and I knew that was the area I wanted to work in. I’ve always had a keen interest in property and property development, so when I seen the Cala Graduate Programme, I knew it would be a perfect fit that combined by interests.

The Graduate Development Programme really helped to elevate my career at Cala. Since completing the scheme, I have moved to a role in the business change team, where I am responsible for managing the ongoing development of our websites, supporting regional marketing teams and working with external agencies on a number of digital improvement projects to help improve our customer experience and optimise our digital landscape.

Being given the opportunity to take a secondment within a different function of the business and get involved in a number of major transformation projects at such an early point in my career has been an invaluable experience for me. I’ve gained exposure to lots of different parts the business and I’ve been able to build a better understanding of what we do, the whole process end to end, and see what is involved at each stage of housebuilding, beyond just marketing the final product.

Entering the working world as new graduate can be scary. There’s a lot to learn, everything is new, and the transition to full-time work can be tough, however one of the biggest benefits of joining a grad scheme is definitely the on-the-job training and the ongoing support you receive. The scheme is designed to help kick start your career, while building essential skills needed to thrive in your field.

You’re supported by your team to learn the day to day, but this is really enhanced with training on softer skills like communication, assertiveness, and project management which you wouldn’t necessarily get in a standard role.

The support and relationships you build with other grads is also extremely beneficial. You have a group of peers, who are going through the exact same as you are, at the same time who you can go to for advice or support. The group become good friends quite quickly.

I would recommend the Graduate Programme because of the opportunities it provides and the relationships and connections it allows you to build with people throughout the business.

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