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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

More than a job


The Rising Stars competition has been an incredible journey, says Alice Smith

Reflecting back on the Rising Stars competition over the last couple of months, I have learnt so much and had my eyes opened to the bigger picture beyond Dorset. I’ve met some amazing people and even started blogging.

The three tasks have been challenging but really enjoyable. The Twitter Q&A was an absolute baptism of fire, just down to the pace of the questions coming in! It felt like the quickest hour ever and I was struck by the tweets coming in from the figureheads of the sector.

The visit to Incommunities housing in Shipley to present to a group of Graduate Employment Mentoring (GEM) students about our strategy to encourage young people into housing was my favourite task. It was great being able to talk about my experiences. Working with Evie making it a ‘boys versus girls’ challenge, added an extra bit of competitive fun.

This was the first time that we as finalists all met each other. I actually felt a bit out of my depth at this point. We are all so different but have one thing in common, which is that we are passionate about housing and want to make a difference. I don’t think it’s just a job for any of us.

The third task was an ethics interview in London which was tough. I had no choice but to be myself and told the interviewers about what I class as my defining moment in my career so far.

I’ve been blown away by the support of everyone at Spectrum Housing, and feel proud to be representing my employer – I’m certainly not the only rising star that works there. Even if the work intranet is now known in the local office as ‘It’s all about Alice’!

Of course I’d love to win the competition, as we all would. To be honest, there’s no one that doesn’t deserve to be here which makes it a hard choice. But my shameless plug is to ask you to #VoteAlice, as I’m not quite ready for this journey to end yet.

Alice Smith, neighbourhood housing officer, Spectrum Housing Group

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