I came across an opportunity at Allsop through pure luck. After several long nights spent studying for my upcoming A-level exams – students will no doubt sympathise with this – I decided to look into alternative opportunities to studying at university and began researching training schemes. Upon receiving an email from a recruitment agency detailing information of a well-paid position, entailing full-time employment with the opportunity to complete my degree free of charge, I jumped at the opportunity. Since joining in July 2015, I have already learnt a huge amount about the industry, as well as the world of work in general.
Career development with a supportive team
Although I didn’t have much insight into the property industry, I was very open-minded to try something new – and what better way than working with a team of experienced industry professionals. There are many misconceptions surrounding being a trainee; many believe that they are given only menial tasks. However, my experience at Allsop has been quite the opposite. The extent of responsibility given to me has been vast, yet not overwhelming; with reassurance from an experienced and supportive team, I have found just the right balance. During my time here so far, I have conducted a huge number of property inspections, lead negotiations and conducted measured surveys. This was a massive change coming from college. I progressed from being ‘spoon-fed’ to taking my own initiative in the workplace, and I have therefore matured both as a person and as a professional.
Over the past two years, I have also met with many industry professionals, from whom I have received invaluable advice, and built up a large network – a huge advantage given that property is very much a people industry. In addition to the evident benefits to career development, working full-time while studying has the added benefit of earning some money.
Challenges I have overcome
Having a company you’re working for, pay for you to obtain a university degree with the added benefit of an income, is a fantastic opportunity. However, it does come with its difficulties. Working full-time whilst studying requires commitment and hard-work; it means undertaking your studies after a full day of work so certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. The degree may be free, but you pay for it with your free time. But trust me, it’s worth it.
Embracing the Allsop culture
Allsop comprises many different teams working from different buildings on different projects, but there is a strong sense of family and community here. As I mentioned before, property is a people industry and ensuring a vibrant company culture and maintaining strong relationships with our clients is key. I often get taken along to client lunches and I have had more evening beers than I can count with both colleagues and clients (and best of all, I haven’t paid for many of them!)
Team events are a regular occurrence
Since joining I have been taken on a cycling trip with clients to the Alps where we pedalled part of the Étape du Tour route. I have also taken charge of organising company football events.
Looking to the future
My experience at Allsop so far has been fantastic; I have enjoyed a vibrant work culture, a welcoming team who provide me with daily support and share their years of experience and a ‘dive-in at the deep end’ to the property world that has fast-tracked my development. Looking forward, I hope to stay on at Allsop, proceeding onto the graduate scheme and, eventually, qualifying as a surveyor.
Having spent the past two years with the lease advisory team, during the next two years of my training I will have the opportunity to rotate teams and delve into the worlds of auctions, investment, build to rent and property management, amongst others, which will allow me to find my niche. I look forward to meeting more of the Allsop network and picking up plenty of new skills along the way.
A 2021 update
I thought it would be an opportune time to provide an update on my career 4 years after I wrote the original article above. I did successfully secure a graduate role at Allsop following my apprenticeship and gained invaluable experience during my rotations in the lease consultancy, auction and investment seats.
I also finished my part time degree with UCEM and graduated with a First-Class qualification. I then went onto finishing my APC training to become a Chartered Surveyor, which I passed in October 2020. The APC could somewhat be compared to passing the bar to become a fully fledged barrister – although a barrister may be offended by this statement.
I am now a member of the Commercial Investment team, dealing with the purchase and sale of property across the country in the regions of £2 – £20m.
To summarise, it took me from September 2015 to September 2020 to finish my degree, do my rotations and pass the APC, without a penny of student loans. That is what the Apprenticeship scheme can offer candidates and I would encourage that you check out our current availabilities.