The Malcolm Smith prize is awarded for the best piece of work focusing on housing law or policy during the last academic year by a student in Scotland, studying up to MSc level. We caught up with the 2021 winner, University of Glasgow student Evie Copland, to find out more about her studies and plans for the future.
- What do you do? I’m a Regulation Analyst at the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR).
- How did you start your housing career? I studied journalism at university and joined the communications team in a housing association and the rest is history!
- What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career to date? This year has been pretty great between this and moving to the SHR earlier this year. I worked in housing in my hometown for about 10 years and I was lucky to be involved in a lot of work that has changed lives where I live. That will always be a special time for me.
- Why did you decide to study for the MSc/PGDip in Housing at University of Glasgow? I get up and come to work every day to play my part in improving housing in Scotland – the Housing Studies course felt like the natural next step for me.
- What advice would you give to someone thinking about studying for a housing qualification? Reach out – the staff at both Glasgow and Stirling are so friendly and approachable. Even if it doesn’t feel like the right time now, those connections will serve you well until it is!
- Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Good question! Having just started a new job recently, who knows! I’m really passionate about creating opportunities for young housing professionals – I’d love to have helped more young people choose housing by then.
- What tips would you give to someone thinking about a career in housing? There are loads of roles in housing so don’t be afraid to try different things and get a variety of experiences under your belt. The new CIH professional standards are heavily driven by values so think about the kind of place you want to work in, do your research and think about other ways you can access the sector (e.g. board roles or other volunteering) ahead of looking at jobs. I’d definitely say to invest in a CIH membership to help you get started in the sector – it will serve you well your entire career!