Tuesday, 3 November 2015

China, Vietnam and the RICS APC

The School of the Built Environment (Real Estate) has partnered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to develop a short training programme (now known as Oxford Adapt) for property professionals who wish to become members of the RICS. The programme was initially created (in 2009) specifically for senior professionals working in the property industry in China. The rapidly growing real estate market in Asia has created demand for this type of training in other countries and so the School took Oxford Adapt to Vietnam.

We are delighted to report that the fourth group of students from Vietnam have now passed the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

These Oxford Adapt students from Vietnam have now all qualified as MRICS

I caught up with two of our graduates from Oxford Adapt to find out how the programme has helped them in their work and what they're doing now. The first, An Hoai Nguyen (An) took Oxford Adapt in 2015 in Vietnam where she works as an Associate Director at CBRE Asia Pacific and the second, Luis Keats (Luis) took Oxford Adapt in China in 2010, and works at Jones Lang LaSalle as a Director and Head of Tenant Representation in Shanghai.

An Hoai Nguyen (left) and Luis Keats (right)

Here's how they answered my questions:

What subject did you study at University/College?
An: I graduated from the Hanoi Foreign Trade University, majoring in International Economics. After that, I obtained an MBA from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, with a concentration in Corporate Finance & Investment Banking.

Luis: Industrial Economics.

Why did you choose Real Estate as a career?
An: By the time I graduated from my MBA studies, real estate emerged as a favorite investment channel to Vietnamese people, surpassing that of investing in stock, forex, and bank savings. At the same time, the Vietnam’s real estate market started opening up to foreign investors, hence there was increasing demand for real estate professionals with international perspectives. I saw this as an opportunity to develop knowledge in real estate which requires comprehensive knowledge of economics, finance, and business.

Luis: Real Estate chose me actually, I was headhunted by DTZ.

Why did you decide to do Oxford Adapt with Oxford Brookes University?
An: Feedback from my colleagues who had attended the course with Oxford Brookes was very positive. Plus, I found the course well structured while it provides close supervision and helpful guidance alongside.

Luis: The fast track nature to RICS qualification and the professional, highly qualified and respectable team from Oxford Brookes that delivered the course.

What were the best bits of Oxford Adapt?
An: The best bits were that the course provided a comprehensive overview of the real estate profession, helping candidates of different practice areas understand where their practice area falls into the big picture as well as their relevance.  Also, there was a strong emphasis on ethics / code of conduct which is much needed for MRICS practicing in developing/emerging markets such as Vietnam.

Luis: Online platform combined with face to face seminars was the perfect balance for those of us with a full time job. The overall content was very well balanced but for me the best part was the introduction to Valuations, which I was not familiar with up to then. The assistance and preparation for the final RICS interview was perfect and fully comprehensive.

And the most challenging bits?
An: The most challenging bit was to find time to complete the course work and especially the Critical Analysis. Handling pressure was also another challenge although it did effectively provide the motivation to complete the work.

Luis: The most challenging for me was memorising all the RICS definitions!

What was the final RICS interview like?
An: A nerve wracking experience indeed no matter how much you had prepared for it. The multiple mock interviews conducted with Oxford Brookes supervisors had been very helpful, providing a sense of an actual interview and helping to anticipate questions.

Luis: The interview was quite nerve wracking but all the hard work and preparation paid off.

Now that you've qualified as MRICS, how has it helped you in your career?
An: Definitely enhanced my credibility within the company. The knowledge picked up from the course is also very useful, and so is the guidance from RICS on various topics. I also made friends from the course which helps to solidify network in the industry. I look forward to enhancing my network both in Vietnam and on regional level through RICS, as well as continually updating and broadening knowledge of the profession/industry.

Luis: Being MRICS is a badge of honour and it immediately boosted my confidence in front of peers, clients and prospects. As time has passed I feel the most valuable part of being MRICS is the emphasis on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and the maintenance of the highest professional standards in the industry, particularly for those of us who work in the more 'opaque' markets.

For more information about Oxford Adapt, take a look at our web page here: Oxford Adapt

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