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Apprenticeship Stories - Jessica Austen

Written by: RICS Recruit
Published on: 6 Feb 2019

Apprenticeship stories- Jessica Austen

Jessica Austen discovered the world of surveying while at sixth form summer school. She has since completed a week's work experience at CBRE and secured a position with them as an apprentice surveyor. Jessica tells us more about the importance of outreach in schools in her own words.

It was during my week’s work experience at CBRE that my eyes were opened to the sort of career I could have as a surveyor. In fact, I clearly remember standing on the 39th floor of the South Bank Tower looking over London and thinking this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

It was around this time that I heard about CBRE's degree apprenticeship in surveying; being able to work and study for a degree at the same time, whilst having my degree paid for and not accruing any debt — why was I never told about this at school?

Exploring new environments

I am currently in the second year of my apprenticeship, where I am currently on a secondment at Land Securities. This is a great opportunity to understand the business of one of CBRE’s key clients.

I work on the London Portfolio side of the business in the London Leasing team, where I get the chance to be involved in amazing projects, such as The Nova Building in Victoria. In the New Year, Land Securities’ head office moved to 100 Victoria Street, SW1.  The whole business is located on an open floor and everyone really enjoys the new, agile working environment.

I love having a whole new area to explore during my breaks and after work.

A career highlight has to be job swapping with the CBRE UK Managing Director. It gave me the opportunity to deliver a presentation on the apprenticeship scheme in front of the entire senior leadership team.

Definitely not 9–5

Surveying is one of the most dynamic and diverse industries you can work in. No two days are the same and it definitely isn’t a 9–5 desk job. It’s a really exciting career and one that I am extremely passionate about.

Few other jobs allow you to work on the most iconic buildings in the world, stand back, and think "I was involved in that".

It still shocks me that I was never taught about a career in property at school.

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