Blog | Apprenticeships | Graduates | Careers
Getting to know Commercial Valuations apprentice, Oliver Powell
What is your current role?
I joined Allsop in July 2021 after taking a gap year following my A-Levels due to Covid. I have started my apprenticeship journey in the Commercial Valuation department in the Wigmore Street London office where I sit beside senior members of the team 4 days a week whilst 1 day a week is spent attending Westminster University as part of my part-time degree. During my first 18 months at Allsop I have been involved in the a wider variety of valuations for various purposes including loan security and fund valuation, across numerous asset classes, lot sizes and locations. I have also dealt with many differing stakeholders from vendors, bankers, lawyers and agents.
Why did you choose the apprentice route?
The apprenticeship route appealed to me more than the traditional university route for several reasons including:
- I wanted to pursue a career in a profession.
- I was keen to ‘learn on the job’ gaining knowledge from experts, and felt a full-time university course was not right for me.
- Working alongside my studies would aid my university performance, being able to apply practice to theory.
- It appeared to be the quickest way to upskill myself without becoming burdened with debt.
- I wanted to earn a salary.
Has it met your initial expectations?
From a personal development perspective, the apprentice scheme has massively surpassed my expectations. From a property perspective when I started in 2021 I had a very limited knowledge of the sector and would struggle to explain the difference between freehold and leasehold property. However, through a combination of university studies, working alongside colleagues and in undertaking valuations I have progressed to a point where I can competently assist on complex valuations and confidently speak to clients. As well as this I have been able to achieve much higher grades at university than I would have if doing the traditional route due to help from colleagues and previous apprentices who are always happy to sit down and share their thoughts. My soft skills have also significantly enhanced, from my confidence and professionalism in the workplace and dealing with colleagues and clients to my written communication in corresponding my email and writing reports.
What have you learnt so far from the process?
A key takeaway from my apprenticeship so far has been having to adapt to the fast changing environment following the mini budget towards the end of 2022 and the resulting rising interest rates and debt costs. The greater uncertainty and reduced investor confidence led to a lack of transactions and falling values across most sectors. Despite this proving a more challenging environment in which to value in, I believe it was and continues to be a very valuable learning curve as it taught me early in my career that the property market is hugely related to the wider economic and political arena and that communication with colleagues, other experts and agents in the market to gain a greater understanding of current market dynamics.
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