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BSc Real Estate: Top 5 tips to get you through the Course!

By Niamh Murray, BSc Real Estate Graduate, London UK.

I have always been creative, however I was never sure how this would relate to a career in the future. I love programmes on TV like Grand Designs, and was always interested in the development process and how each project is completely unique. Since studying Real Estate at the University of Reading, I have been able to pinpoint what it is that interests me! I like seeing how the design and process of a building can impact people, their community and how they live.

I was first drawn to studying Real Estate because of the variety of modules it offered, which presented the opportunity to find one that I enjoyed and could see as a potential career. My modules included Economics, Finance, Business Management, Planning, building, Property Law and Valuation. For me, the wide range of modules offered the ability to tailor the modules to my preferences.

This helped to identify what I did and didn’t enjoy, which was really useful, as I was not entirely sure before starting my degree.

Overall I really enjoyed my university experience and the course, and would definitely recommend it! These are my 5 tips I would give to someone starting their degree, be it Real Estate or another degree in the construction and property industry.

1) Develop your Confidence

Growing in confidence was a skill I gained most from my university experience. Within my degree, I had a lot of project-based modules, and a lot of the time, I was the only girl in my group, which at the start was sometimes intimidating. However, I found that learning to speak up, ask questions and put ideas forward was so beneficial to my own understanding of concepts, as well as learning leadership skills when working in group situations.

2) Take all opportunities available

Be proactive and take all opportunities available to you at university. Work at developing a relationship with a mentor or careers advisor, as they can be helpful with applying for jobs, contacts for work experience and feedback on your CV. By taking more opportunities, it can really diversify your experience as well as your knowledge.

Don’t be afraid to email or speak to people within the industry. You never know; they may be able to offer you work experience or help with an assignment.

3) Find a role model

Having a role model or someone who you admire that you can relate to within your education and career can be very helpful. During my university experience, we had many career events and guest speakers, which helped give an insight into different pathways after my degree. As my course was predominantly male, I found it very motivational to hear from other women in the industry, and it gave me more confidence when applying for jobs. When I was unsure of what I wanted to do after university, my careers advisor encouraged me to message some past students that had studied Real Estate who now work in the construction industry. This was very useful as it gave me other ideas and options that I hadn’t considered previously from girls that have been in the same position.

4) Use your Network

Throughout my degree I learnt the importance of networking and contacts available to you, especially when trying to gain work experience. Many people on my course had direct family connections to the industry. However, for those who did not, gaining experience was sometimes more challenging. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family or friends of friends if they know anyone who could potentially offer any experience or opportunity.

Another tip would be to get experience as soon as possible after starting your degree. When I did work experience, it wasn’t something I could see as a career for myself. However, this was great at helping to narrow down what I did enjoy, which can sometimes be hard when there are many sectors within the industry.

5) Apply for jobs early !

It can be very easy in the third year of university with coursework deadlines, exams and being in the university “bubble” to put off applying for jobs. However, start early in looking for jobs and even narrowing down the type of company you’d like to work for. A lot of the larger companies who offer graduate schemes have early deadlines for applications and many are quite lengthy. Don’t leave applications to the last minute, as this can be a stressful time that also goes very quickly!

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