From the arts to chartership: Q&A with our MSc Real Estate alumna, Hannah Done

Posted on: 2020-06-25

Hannah Done is a Chartered Surveyor in the Office Agency Team at JLL in Edinburgh. Hannah graduated from our MSc Real Estate programme last year and we caught up with her to find out about her experience…


Hannah DoneWhy did you decide to study on our MSc in Real Estate?

The Master’s course was an invaluable stepping stone in my career, helping me reach my ultimate target of achieving my APC Chartership Qualification. As well as bridging this gap, the programme quickly built up my knowledge of the real estate industry, where I had previously completed an arts undergraduate degree which was entirely unrelated to property! I enjoyed studying alongside my full-time graduate job and it was rewarding to see technical skills I was learning in the ‘virtual classroom’ begin to come to life in my job role, working alongside JLL colleagues.

How did you find the programme? What did you enjoy most about it?

The programme was very well suited to my day-to-day working life, and from the very first seminar, I could quickly relate my work with my studies. I really benefited from the part-time, two-year year Master’s, which I could fit in around full-time work with JLL, where I was able to discuss and share topics I was covering in UCEM webinars with my colleagues, as well as discuss work experiences with my UCEM peers online.

Has your career changed since you started studying with us? If so, how?

I was employed on the JLL Graduate Scheme, and since beginning the programme, I’m now really pleased to have secured a permanent role at JLL. The motivation needed to study virtually and complete this distance learning course has certainly stood me in good stead for the sudden change to working from home due to the pandemic – I didn’t think that would be a key takeaway from the degree!

How did you find the support you received whilst on the programme?

Whilst this programme was an online learning one, I never felt alone when I had concerns or queries. The support staff who are on the end of the phone were hugely helpful with admin queries about the course, as well as having a messaging service with tutors who responded quickly to any technical or coursework queries. I learnt a lot from all the other students on the course, and the discussion channels were something that helped me gain a better understanding of content in each module. The support my ‘virtual’ classmates offered was a huge benefit to the programme, and something I’d encourage any student beginning the UCEM journey to make the most of.

How did you find the online learning aspect of the programme?

Having just qualified with an Arts Undergraduate Degree which was highly structured and with a lot of face-to-face interaction, I was aware this was going to be a huge change to the way I’d learnt previously. With UCEM, they made it a smooth transition – I liked the ease of being able to study at a time when best suited me. It was definitely important to remain on track with deadlines and seminars. Plus, anyone who knows me, knows I love a checklist, so I benefited from the clear structure of the degree, which worked systematically through the course content.

What are your future career aspirations?

In February 2020, I started my permanent role in the JLL Office Agency Team, with some specialism in Tenant Representation. Having built a broad understanding of the real estate industry in my first two years of working life on the JLL Graduate Scheme and balancing my Master’s and APC Qualification, I’m now enjoying developing a deeper understanding of property transactions and occupier trends in the agency world!

In the immediate future, I’m working to develop a network of contacts, both with clients and within JLL, which will hopefully help me work and connect on a national and global basis – something that really excites me! This global interest is something UCEM also emphasised, where I met a range of tutors and students, each with contrasting experiences to share, from all over the world.


Thanks for sharing your experience, Hannah! If you would like to find out more about how our conversion MSc programmes could benefit you, head to our Postgraduate webpage.