Before coming to work with Socius as part of the Emerging Talent Programme, run by Future of London, Leila Atallah had pre-conceived ideas about developers… a bunch of ruthless men looking over the city, planning their next demolition.
Thankfully, she says, that couldn’t be further from the truth with mixed-use developer, B Corp pending, Socius. In our latest blog, Leila tells us more about what brought her to Socius and what’s up next on her career journey.
After studying Architecture, I was taken on for a 6-month placement as part of the Emerging Talent Programme, run by Future of London. The programme sends candidates to work at three different placements within the built environment, with the aim to get an insight into different sectors of the industry. My first placement was at MTVH, a housing association and my final placement will be at Camden Council.
I was warmly welcomed by the team and over the last 6 months, I’ve gained a rounded insight into the role of a developer. I was encouraged to attend events and be curious, I had the opportunity to visit project sites across the UK, attend interviews and meet local charities.
One of the most valuable experiences has been working with Liam and Olaide on setting up a process for delivering social value. This has involved recording the internal corporate activities and generating monetary values on the Social Value Portal. Working with likeminded people is a big part of creating meaningful social impact, and part of my role was to encourage our consultants to commit to various activities, which Socius can monitor over the course of the project and, as a result, generate lasting impact. In March, Socius delivered its first ‘Socius Impact Showcase’ which was a successful event that celebrated often overlooked achievements and encouraged industry partners to ‘do more good’.
Finding out more about social value has been a great learning experience for me, informing what direction I would like to take my career in. I hope that I will be able to apply the lessons that I’ve learnt about social value and see how I can apply them through design and placemaking.
Other areas of work that I have enjoyed include the process of research that goes into new business. I have built an understanding of Life Sciences, Co-living and Roof Terraces, compiling research into presentations and speaking about them at team days.
Socius is an impactful developer that balances profit with purpose. This is reflected in the time and effort that goes into their deep understanding of local community needs and their commitment to ‘give back’ to local charities, schools and community groups. One notable personal experience was participating in converting the St Christopher’s Square site into refugee housing in Bristol, as a way of celebrating Socius’ 1st anniversary. As a result of this experience, it’s important to me that the companies I go on to work with in the future embody these values and it will be something I look for in future positions.
Socius would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Leila for her contribution, particularly her help with our first-ever Socius Impact Showcase. We all wish her lots of luck on her next placement and all the best for the future.