Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sociable Surveyors 2014: Henry Toloczko and Hugo Lear

Applications for the 2014 Sociable Surveyors Internship Scheme open on 1 March and close on 13 April 2014. All you have to do is record a two minute video demonstrating your passion for property and submit it along with your CV, for a chance to win one of the internships on offer this year. Sounds easy, right?

Last year, two of the winners were students at Oxford Brookes and I caught up with them to ask them about the application process and their internship experiences.

Henry Toloczko completed the BSc Real Estate Management in 2013 and won the Sociable Surveyors Explorer Internship with Halliburton (a 6-week internship based in Norway, Poland and Tanzania). Read more about the internship here.



Henry is now a Graduate Surveyor at Halliburton covering Continental Europe - a job which 'involves a bit of everything that real estate has to offer from investment to valuation'. Henry describes his internship as 'an amazing and very different experience'.

Hugo Lear completed the MSc Real Estate Management in 2013 and won a Sociable Surveyors Global Internship with Savills in Sydney (click here to see Hugo's winning video):



I asked Hugo some questions about his background and his internship...

1. Why did you decide to study real estate at Brookes? And did you feel the MSc was good preparation for the move into the world of work?
My undergraduate degree had been in Physiology and I initially intended to have a medical career. Having decided against this, I decided to look at a business career. My friend had done the MSc (Real Estate) the previous year and spoke highly of the course as did many people in the industry who I had done work experience with. The course was good preparation for getting a job as they gave you great advice on applications and the teaching was topical on what was going on currently in the industry. There were also many guest speakers which helped as contacts and giving their perspective on what they do.

2. Why did you decide to apply for the Sociable Surveyors scheme? And why the Global Internship in particular? 
I had heard from people doing the Sociable Surveyors internships who had been offered a job afterwards on a graduate scheme, so saw it as a good opportunity. I liked the way it was a slightly different way of expressing yourself on a film rather than the usual job applications. I would like to work abroad in the future and saw this as a good way of seeing how the real estate industry differed from the UK.

3. How did you go about making your application video - any tips?
I learned what I was roughly going to say and just did it over and over again till I got it right. It took about 20 shots. I would wear a smart suit, talk about why you decided on a career in property, your work experience, extra curricular achievements and why you would like to do this particular internship with this company. I would personalise the video for each application you make.

4. How did you feel when you won? Did Sociable Surveyors throw a good party? 
I was currently doing an internship with BNP Paribas when I found out and was ecstatic. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the Sociable Surveyors party I was away in Australia on the internship.

5. Describe your internship - what were the highlights? And the most challenging bits? 
I spent my time rotating through the different departments for a day or two each. I started with residential sales, and spent time with project management, valuation, office agency, industrial agency and investment. Every team were very welcoming and got me out and about on site visits. There was an end of financial year party, which was very fun! I saw it as a good opportunity and knew if I impressed, information would get passed back to the UK, so was challenging to get the work done quickly and accurately. When I came back from Sydney I did two weeks in London with International Investment. Here I was able to get more involved with projects and gave me more of an understanding of how the business works. Read more about Hugo's experience on the Savills website.

6. What did you learn - about the subject - and about yourself? 
I learned a great deal in Australia and saw how it can differ from the UK - such as having Strata sales (where individual parts of offices are sold off freehold). During investment, we were putting forward off market opportunities to clients and I found it interesting seeing how the process worked.

7. Did the internship help you get your current job?
Yes for sure. I finished the internship in London and was asked to come to the assessment day which led to a fnal round interview and then the job starting on the September in take.

Finally - any advice to students who are thinking of applying in 2014?
I would definitely apply for a few of the internships whether BSc or MSc and make sure the video is personalised to that particular internship. If you do get an internship, make sure you stay close with HR and express your interest on joining the graduate scheme.

Get recording...and good luck!

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