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A day in the life of Cara Walsh

Posted: September 13, 2023

With Scottish Housing Day taking place this week, and this year’s theme focusing on housing as a career, we’re looking behind the scenes to see what our housing staff members do, and how their roles are vital in operating and continually developing the service we offer our tenants.

In this a day in the life feature, we’re following Housing Apprentice, Cara Walsh.

Tell us a little bit about you.

Before my Hillcrest apprenticeship, I tried many different avenues to see which job and area I wanted to go into. This varied from a waitress, to university nursing student, to nursery worker, and now to housing.  All of the skills I’ve gained from these positions have helped me gain  confidence and experience in working with the public and other colleagues, and forming strong work relationships.

I have always been a very caring and mindful person who loves helping and talking to people, and knew I wanted to incorporate this into my future career and assist as many people as I could. After trying out my previous roles, I found that housing seemed most suited to my skill-set. I am currently starting my Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Level 2 certification in housing, and I’m also helping different teams along the way to see how they work within Hillcrest, and also to help build more knowledge in the housing sector.

How did you get into a career in housing?

I kind of fell into housing, as my mum and I were looking for long-term jobs or apprenticeships, and we found that there was a role for Modern Housing Apprentice at Hillcrest. I jumped for the position as they are not very common, and it has been the best decision I have made!

What would you say to others who are considering a career in the housing sector?

It is the most fulfilling and rewarding job with how you can help different people with tasks, and be able to speak to tenants, helping with any questions or queries they may have. I would definitely recommend considering housing as an option when considering careers. I wasn’t aware there were positions like this during my time at school as it wasn’t mentioned, but I found my job and it’s the best place I can be.


Your day

9 am: I would typically check my emails for any jobs or tasks  that I’ve been asked to complete, and today I’ve been assigned some New Tenant Contact phone calls to make to tenants about their new properties, and if they have any issues or queries, or need any help.

11 am: I had two meetings around this time – one with my line manager Robyn, and the other with the Apprentice Officer, Lesley. With Robyn, we had our monthly workload meeting, which involved discussing the workload I have between my work and my qualifications, and how I can incorporate my work with the Hillcrest values. We also carried out my six month probationary meeting, which I passed, and I’m now a fully-fledged Hillcrest member of staff, which I could not be happier with! I had a review meeting with Lesley afterwards to check on my progress, and to see if there’s any struggles I’m having, and what I’ve done well etc. 

1 pm: In the afternoon I started to complete CX Feedback compliments, which is a database for tenants’ comments and feedback that come through to us about the repairs and maintenance services they have received. I took the compliments and logged them into our database system, QL, then sent an email to the area manager of the specific job areas for them to pass onto their Hillcrest Maintenance staff.

3 pm: I completed this month’s workload notes from the meeting earlier to send to Robyn, updating it with any new jobs I had and any events planned to do with my apprenticeship.

5 pm: I finished up my day by making a couple Interested Tenants Register (ITR) calls to help my Tenant Participation team colleagues, asking tenants if they would like to join. Being part of the ITR is a great way for tenants to have their say on a wide range of aspects of our services. I also checked my emails once more to see if I have any I need to reply to before finishing work for the day.