Monday, 31 March 2014

OBREMS/OBU Mentoring Scheme: The 2014 Launch

The launch of the second year of the OBREMS/OBU Real Estate Mentoring Scheme took place on Wednesday 26 March. This year, the event was hosted by DLA Piper in their offices on Noble Street in central London and brought together mentors and mentees for the first time. The Mentoring Scheme is managed jointly by OBREMS (which, by the way, is our alumni association) and the Department of Real Estate and Construction. For those of you who still haven't heard of it, take a look here.

Back to the launch. The event was introduced by Ian Brierley, UK Head of Real Estate at DLA Piper who welcomed the mentors and talked about the importance of supporting students in their transition between higher education and the workplace. Companies had a role to play, he said, in becoming involved in mentoring schemes, as it was in their interest to make sure that students understood as well as possible the profession they were joining.

Then it was over to Gina Dalton from the Department of Real Estate and Construction to introduce the Mentoring Scheme, which focuses on supporting students who do not have an existing network of contacts within the property sector. Gina talked about the Mentoring Scheme and the role of the mentor - the most important attribute of a mentor? To be an active listener.

One of the unique features of the OBREMS/OBU Real Estate Mentoring Scheme is that all of our mentors are graduates of the Department of Real Estate and Construction at Oxford Brookes - which means that the launch evening is also a great networking event and that mentors and students (or 'mentees') have an immediate connection. The energy and buzz that filled the room at the launch event is reflected in some of the photos...

The highlight (?!) of the evening was the Marshmallow Challenge. A fun exercise to get mentors and mentees working together. The challenge requires teams to build the tallest structure possible using only spaghetti, string and tape. And it has to take the weight of a marshmallow.

Two (very focused) members of the winning team carrying out delicate adjustments

The winning team (l-r): James Robson (CNM Estates), Annie Wilkins (REM student), Peter Sandle (CBRE) and Jay Panesar (REM student). And their winning structure (all 25.25 inches of it).

Feedback on the first year of the OBREMS/OBU Real Estate Mentoring Scheme has been great - let's hope the second year is every bit as good for both mentors and mentees.

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