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What I wish they’d taught me at university about the property industry (by Oana at HCS)

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Oana Lavinia Gutulescu BSc(Hons) MSc PgDip
Building Surveyor

The property industry is a diverse field that includes amongst other things planning, organising, designing, constructing and conveyancing.

It’s global, and therefore it involves people of different education and social backgrounds. The property industry is a bridge between the financial sector and the built environment.

When I went to university, at London South Bank, they taught us a lot of good things. These include the practical elements I use daily in my job, for example

  • Research
  • Measurement skills and techniques
  • Architecture software
  • Report writing

I have come to realise that it would have been more useful to have gained practical experience in addition to theoretical knowledge of the industry. I would have been far better equipped to do my job when leaving university if I had some practical experience.

Specifically, if I could go back in time and have some sort of influence with the course director, here’s what I’d ask for:

  • I wish they had taught me different skills to approach and understand a client’s requirements. When I first went to meet with a client, I didn’t know what questions to ask – and this made me feel insecure. All that theoretic information I had did not apply in that situation.  You need to ask the correct questions to put together all the information you need. It would have been useful to had a class about all these practical situations where you could have met a real client. I would have definitely benefited from that class and learned much more!
  • I wish they had taught me more about the dynamic property economy and provided more field experience. If you don’t have the required field experience, then the decisions you are making can be uncertain and maybe not suitable in that situation.
  • I wish my university had taught me more about problem solving particularly on site, rather than just teaching me the terminology.
  • I wish they had taught me more about how to multi-task and how important is to be part of a good team in order to succeed. Time management is the key to happiness.

Well, luckily I have learned a lot of these skills since then! To save you time I have listed below five secrets of effective multi-tasking:

  1. Organise your to-do list every day.
  2. Give your full attention to the task in front of you (mindfulness)
  3. Set specific time frames for task completion
  4. Become effective at switching gears within like/similar activities
  5. Prioritise high and low priority tasks

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have your own wishes or tips!

 

For more information call 020 3102 7701 (London), 01277 223594 (Shenfield) or email info@howecharteredsurveyors.co.uk