This article was originally published in spring 2020.
For those about to emerge from university and enter the world of property, a few words of advice.
As we enter 2020, I find myself engrossed in the new Star Trek series, ‘Picard’. Its central theme, set against a background of science fiction and interstellar space travel, is the perennial one of ageing and passing the baton to the next generation. And that has made me think about how in the world of real estate a new cohort of ‘bright young things’ are poised to take over the mantle from my own generation.
I have spent most of my working life in the university sector, hopefully imparting a little of my property knowledge to the chartered surveyors of tomorrow. In 2018, I wrote an article in this very magazine about how universities can best support the students of today when they are seeking their first step on the career ladder. I am lucky that I have always taught at universities with strong links to industry; links that I have helped to foster with the development and support of alumni societies and HR teams across the profession.
In property, networking is the linchpin of the work environment and it is just the same when a student is building up their own CV. I am not talking about nepotism, which died in the industry, thankfully, back in the early 1990s. I am talking about a student, during and prior to their studies, developing their work experience profile with placements and internships or just talking with as many people from the property industry as possible. There is no such thing as a wasted conversation.