Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Real Estate Mentoring Scheme 2016

We are about to launch the OBREMS/OBU Real Estate Mentoring Scheme for 2016. The Mentoring Scheme is managed jointly by OBREMS (which, by the way, is our alumni association) and the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University. For those of you who still haven't heard of it, take a look here.

Mentoring Scheme Launch 2013 and 2014

This year, we will be holding the launch at the offices of Cushman & Wakefield in London. To provide the opportunity for mentors and mentees to meet for the first time and plan how they are going to develop the mentoring relationship. All our mentors are graduates from Real Estate (BSc or MSc) at Oxford Brookes University (or its predecessor at Oxford Polytechnic) which gives mentor and mentee an excellent starting point as they have at least one thing in common. As to how the mentoring relationship develops, although we do offer some guidance, this is very much led by the mentee with support from the mentor. As one mentor said:

'the three students I have worked with so far are all very different so it is important that mentors adapt their approach to fit the student and his/her objectives. Trying to formulate it (the role of mentor) might take something away from the process. At the first meeting it is important to scope out how you can work together effectively and build a good working relationship'.

And what do our students (the mentees) think? Some feedback from Jessica White (mentor based in London) and Sophie Milward (mentor based in Abu Dhabi):

Jessica White decided to apply for the mentoring scheme as she had no links with the property industry at all. She originally wanted to do Geography at university and looked into jobs you could do with a degree in Geography. After a very enjoyable week of work experience in a surveying firm she investigating the idea of doing a vocational course and ended up doing the BSc Real Estate Management at Oxford Brookes.

The mentoring scheme has given her access to a professional who has gone through the student experience that she is going through, provided her with tips, advice and access to contacts for possible future work experience and help in data collection aspect of her dissertation. Here's what she has to say about her mentor:

'My mentor was really helpful in all aspects of my final year, whether it be interview tips and preparation for jobs or helping me so much with my dissertation; providing contacts for data collection, read through of chapters and tips on how to improve it. Wouldn't have been able to do it without her regular input and catch-ups in London. As my mentor was a recent graduate of Oxford Brookes she understood exactly what I was going through and knew the job application process very well.'

Sophie Milward always enjoyed business and management subjects at school and college so had an initial good feeling about the Real Estate Management course - her Dad has had a successful career in the profession which initially sparked her interest in the subject. She had limited contacts in the real estate industry and understood the importance of networking whilst at university. She saw the scheme as a great opportunity and aimed to take on board any opportunity available. Here's Sophie on her mentor:

'He helped me a lot with formatting and improving my CV and offered so much invaluable advice regarding CVs and interviews. Since he was located in Abu Dhabi, we managed to skype a number of times before actually meeting in Dubai for a coffee. He has been very open to the mentoring scheme and it genuinely felt like he wanted to help rather than feeling like I was pestering him! He discussed various opportunities which he was happy to offer me (however I spent my summer doing an internship in Sydney which I had arranged myself) and offered help and advise regarding my dissertation. I have gained so much from the experience.'

There will be a full report on the 2016 launch in a future blog post.

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