Nikola graduated from the MSc in Urban and Regional Planning and currently works as a Planning Consultant for Smiths Gore in Edinburgh.

I decided to study the Urban and Regional Planning one year MSc programme at Heriot-Watt as it fitted my requirements better than those of other planning schools in Scotland, and the good reputation of the University's built environment courses attracted me.

The teaching staff members at Heriot-Watt were excellent during my time there, and I have kept in touch with several of them through volunteering for Planning Aid for Scotland, and also my involvement as a mentor in the Heriot-Watt planning student mentoring programme.

I work on a range of consultancy work including masterplanning and the preparation of development frameworks, site promotion for development plans and large and small scale planning applications for a range of uses including rural, semi-rural and renewables sites.

I am also very involved in the RTPI in Scotland and am a volunteer for Planning Aid for Scotland - delivering training to members of the public and planning professionals on planning issues, presentation skills and the planning system. I am also the current RTPI Young Planner of the Year.

My experience at Heriot-Watt allowed me to discover my love for planning and really set me on track for my career. Some of the students and staff I met during my time at Heriot-Watt have gone on to become valued colleagues and friends, and have helped to build my network of planning contacts.