Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Where do our graduates end up?

Not always where you might expect. One of our graduates got in touch with us recently to tell us about what he is doing and how he used the (many) skills he acquired during his time in the Department of Real Estate and Construction when setting up his own business. It seems that our REM degree is packed full of transferable skills (of course we knew that, but it's nice to hear it from one of our ex-students).

So, who is he and what is he doing?

Henry Hales graduated from the BSc Real Estate Management in 2010 and instead of going into the property industry, decided that he wanted to make boxer shorts. The idea started to grow when he visited Emma Willis, the shirtmaker who told him that traditionally the fabric left over from a shirt order would be used to make boxer shorts. It was this discovery that began his interest in the idea of sustainable (or upcycled) clothing.

Henry with some of his boxers (photo courtesy of themurdockman.com)

Henry decided to contact tailors and factories and buy their excess fabric and off-cuts. He also did some research (that module on research methods did come in handy) on both his product and market. He decided that there was a gap in the market for well-made designs using interesting fabrics - and also that all his products should be made in the UK.

Sir Plus (surplus - get it?) was established in 2011 and Henry started by selling his boxer shorts at the markets in Spitalfields and Portobello as well as online. Since then, he has discovered lots of other 'surplus' fabrics and has expanded the range to include other items of clothing such as waistcoats, flat caps, knitwear and bow ties.

So how did the skills he learnt during his degree help him?

'My degree in Real Estate Management was extremely helpful to me for setting up a business. Although the modules are clearly geared towards property, a lot of the skills that you learn are transferable, like law, valuation and investment. You might not initially expect it, but the course encourages creativity. Team work and management skills are also well nurtured'.

Henry has been doing a round of interviews about Sir Plus and the media attention seems to be working. Take a look here:

Volt Cafe
Disorder Magazine
The Tweed Pig
Quintessentially Lifestyle

Henry and Sir Plus are going to feature in an article on the careers of graduates from real estate/property degrees in the Estates Gazette on 3 August 2013. Go and take a look!

Of course, the clothing range is eminently suitable for students of real estate. Get some for yourself here:

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