Our company is passionate about giving young people the opportunity to find and develop a successful career in the property industry. This year we are sponsoring Place North West’s inaugural networking event, Place Young Things. This event has been borne out of a need to provide young people starting out in the regeneration sector with a platform which they can use to increase their network. Here, our investment surveyor, Laura Wilkinson talks about her career to date and why the property industry should support new talent coming through.
As a graduate coming from a discipline outside of property, I often get asked “how did you get into it?”. The answer is: a combination of luck; ‘right place at the right time’; good contacts and an element of curiosity for the unknown.
Fresh from university, I landed a summer placement at Pochin Construction, within the communications and marketing department. This developed into to a more permanent position where I stayed for two years. Although I enjoyed my time there, I wanted to move away from marketing and sink my teeth into a career where there was a clear route for progression. Before I knew it, I was looking into other options in the centre of Manchester. I was introduced to Glenbrook by a contact at Pochin’s and, at that time, Glenbrook had an administrative job vacancy. As soon as I started learning about Glenbrook’s ethos and principles on providing young graduates with as much opportunity as possible, I knew this was something that could really interest me; not only the diversity of the discipline but also the rewards that could be gained.
Over two years later, the knowledge and drive that I have acquired since starting at Glenbrook has encouraged me to undertake a post-graduate degree in Real Estate with The University College of Estate Management. Undertaking this degree has further allowed me to enrol onto the APC to become a RICS qualified surveyor in two years’ time.
I think encouraging young students to pursue a career in property needs to start in schools and colleges; perhaps hosting events for students would be a good way to inform them about the different opportunities within the industry. I know that I would have benefited from this years ago, and it may have led me to choose a career in property earlier. The shortage of skills in this sector is a constant talking point, but I strongly believe that educating pupils about the career possibilities that are open to them is a sure-fire way of getting more intelligent people, from a range of backgrounds, into the sector. After all, the free-thinking “millennial generation” could be our most entrepreneurial age group yet!