Apprenticeships the world of work

25 March 2020

George Morris

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Looking back, my interest in Property formed at an early age. I believe this was due to my dad being involved in the property and construction sector for over 30 years, and speaking regularly with him about the different aspects involved. Over the past few years, I’ve undertaken work experience placements with both a construction firm and an Estate Agent, which helped to further cement my interest in the world of property.

The idea of attending University’s never appealed to me, I don’t believe it’s a necessity in order to be successful in today’s world. I’d rather gain valuable, ‘hands on’ experience whilst earning money than falling into debt at a young age. Given this, I chose to progress and journey down the apprenticeship route.

Having spoken to a handful of successful business owners, I quickly realised, they valued ‘on-the-job’ experience over a University qualification. I was told if they had two job applications in front of them, one with job experience and the other with a University degree, they’d choose the applicant with experience. This again reassured me, I’d taken the correct path.

Currently, I’m studying a 5 year Bsc (Hons) apprenticeship in Real Estate Management through the University College of Estate Management. With my course being based online, I find I don’t have the added pressure of travelling to and from my place of study. Instead, I sign on to my study portal and complete the necessary weekly tasks from the comfort of the office or even from home. After 4 years, I’ll have gained my degree, with the chartered qualification coming after year 5 (hopefully). Once chartered, I’ll become a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), enabling me to receive the knowledge and connections I require in order to thrive in the industry.

Having started my journey back in September 2018, I’ve been able to experience the ‘real world’ of work. When I started the job, I wasn’t really sure what day-to-day projects I was going to undertake, as I was fresh out of sixth form and had no real experience. However, the past 12 months have enabled me to gain a vast amount of insight into what work‘s really like. I’ve been involved in a whole host of different projects, varying from simple tasks like site acquisitions and disposals, to more advanced projects such as valuations and capital allowances. I think it’s fair to say, I was ‘thrown in at the deep end’, nevertheless, I’ve quickly acquired valuable skills and understanding relatively early on in my development. This was due, in a significant part  to the office camaraderie, culture – “we’re all in this together”. This approach and way of working’s been further cemented by the introduction of our values; DISTINCTIVE, INCLUSIVE, VALUABLE, COURAGEOUS.

In my role, I also have the chance to ‘escape the office’ and take part in site visits and surveys, allowing me to get more hands on with the projects and face to face with our clients. This has been extremely valuable to my development as it’s given me the experience and the confidence to carry our future projects on my own, with minimal assistance from others.

Over the next few years, I hope to keep rapidly developing my skill set, knowledge and understanding of the industry. Furthermore, I want to establish my ‘personal brand’ as a trusted and valuable member of Fortus, along with cementing myself within the property team, with the potential of heading-up a team of my own sometime in the future.

My ultimate goal’s to become a property developer, whether it be my main line of work or on the side. I’d like to start building my own property portfolio as soon as possible, to help give me the best start in ‘adult life’, and to build a secure future for myself and my family. With such ambitious goals, I’m hoping this job married with my determination will help me achieve them.

After all, the famous minister and author Norman Vincent Peale once said “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Now that’s sound advice upon which I can build!

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