A case study: Developing a career in Real Estate – Phoebe Farrell, Surveying Executive

Posted on: 2016-06-13

At UCEM we’re proud to provide an opportunity for both those working in, and with an interest in, the Built Environment to progress their career through Higher Education – without sacrificing the valuable experience they can gain through employment.

In this blog post, UCEM student and Surveying Executive Phoebe Farrell shares how a UCEM programme allowed her to realise her potential in real estate, and gave her the platform to develop a career in an industry she has always been passionate about.

Phoebe’s Story

“I’ve always had a keen interest in real estate, as it is such a varied industry with huge potential, and has close connections with other subject areas I’m extremely interested in such as history and economics. However, I’d always been under the impression that the only way to find a career in the industry was through family connections. As no one in my family or close circle of friends worked in real estate, I thought I would struggle to find a way in – but then I discovered JLL.

Phoebe Farrell, Surveying Executive

Phoebe Farrell, Surveying Executive

One of the things I most respect about companies like JLL is that it makes real estate jobs much more accessible to the wider employment market. I initially joined as a secretary, but found myself much more interested in the work of the colleagues around me and knew I wanted to progress into a role that was much more focused on property. I began to learn more and more about the Real Estate industry, and after expressing my interest in property I was given the opportunity by the Lead Director to begin a career as a Surveyor. This meant I needed to study an undergraduate programme in real estate, but I didn’t want to lose the valuable experience I was gaining at JLL.

After searching for an online learning programme that would allow me to study whilst maintaining my job, I discovered UCEM and its wide range of programmes. I applied last summer and was offered a place on UCEM’s BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management programme, which began in September 2015.

I have completed the first two modules of my programme so far, which have helped me to understand the world of the Built Environment so much better. For example, our first assignment for the ‘People and Organisational Management’ module focused on how the current external real estate climate impacts internally on our company. It was such a wide area of research and I learnt a lot more about JLL as a company, as well as the wider Real Estate industry. It was fantastic!

I’m due to graduate in 2019, and will then complete the RICS APC, allowing me to become a Chartered Surveyor. In the meantime, I’m now a Surveying Executive at JLL specialising in industrial property, and I’m so grateful to be able to maintain this role whilst studying for my bachelor’s degree.

My role as a Surveying Executive is extremely varied. One day I could be travelling around the country inspecting properties, and the next I will be spending time in the office. There’s also a great social element to the job, which I love. Everyone in the industry is very down-to-earth and friendly and I meet lots of new people in an average working week, which makes the job even more enjoyable.

I feel suited to a career in real estate as I’m organised, able to multi-task, I have a love for learning and great people skills. These traits, combined with the theory and skills I am learning both through UCEM and on-the-job with JLL means I feel confident that I can become a good, competent surveyor.

If you are interested in working in the Built Environment I would really advise you to research all career paths that the industry has to offer. There are so many routes you can go down, and my best advice is not to shy away from reaching out to people or companies that you would like to work for.

As long as you have the passion and drive to pursue a career in the Built Environment, there is always the opportunity to build your knowledge and skills whilst working within the industry through online learning programmes such as those offered by UCEM.”

Shaun Rogerson, Phoebe’s Line Manager and Director – UK Industrial & Logistics at JLL, has also provided an insight into Phoebe’s journey into the world of real estate.

 After the opportunity arose for Phoebe to take on the role of Surveying Executive, moving away from her secretarial position, she has been a great addition to the team. Her programme with UCEM has provided her with a solid understanding of surveying practices. It has also given her more confidence in speaking with and advising clients, which has helped us to secure repeated business in the future. Phoebe is now experienced with using the terminology needed to communicate clearly and precisely with both applicants and clients.

In the short time Phoebe has worked with me, she has already generated two additional fees for the team. Phoebe’s knowledge acquired from her programme with UCEM also means she now assists me with producing marketing literature, providing demand and supply schedules and with report writing, which has allowed me to free up some of my own time to focus on winning new business.

I had heard of UCEM prior to Phoebe commencing her studies, as previous colleagues of mine had developed their careers in the Built Environment through their online learning programmes. Phoebe is clearly enjoying her experience with UCEM and, as I always advise, is gaining a varied knowledge base of our industry which will undoubtedly be beneficial to her promising career.”

For more information on how UCEM can take your career in the Built Environment in the direction you want it to go, take a look at our range of online learning programmes, or contact our enquiries team.

You can also find us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook – follow us for more industry insights and UCEM news.