People Series: joining real estate from a non-real estate background | Deloitte UK has been saved
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Ching and Sophie who are both members of the Occupiers and Capital Projects (O&CP) team in London, give their insight into life at Deloitte. Ching studied Pharmacy at university and is now undertaking the CIMA graduate pathway, and Sophie studied Business Management with Finance and has recently completed the APC graduate pathway.
Why did you decide to choose to pursue a career in Real Estate?
S: I knew that I wanted to work in consulting and had an interest in real estate. I started looking at different graduate schemes and saw an opportunity in O&CP. For me, it seemed like the perfect mix of the career I wanted to pursue and a genuine interest of mine!
How have you found joining O&CP having never studied Real Estate at university?
C: I wondered whether a career within the industry was possible, as it was not an obvious option for me. Since joining the O&CP team at Deloitte in 2019, I have been able to utilise the skills and knowledge that I developed during my undergraduate studies more than I ever could have imagined. With the team comprising of team members with totally different backgrounds both professionally (engineers, accountants, surveyors) and culturally, I feel that I settled in quite quickly!
What sets Deloitte apart from its competitors?
S: Besides from working with high-profile and prestigious clients, Deloitte has a large focus on the pastoral care of their employees and puts a great emphasis on diversity and inclusion and the well-being of their employees both mentally and physically.
As you would expect, Deloitte maintains a performance-focused, hardworking culture, but it is one based on a foundation of trust, honesty, integrity, responsibility and reliability between colleagues, which I think is an important aspect to consider when looking for a good place to start your career!
What opportunities are there to gain a professional qualification?
C: I am currently on the CIMA pathway, which involved completing the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting within the first few months of joining. I am now studying towards qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant, which typically takes three years. There are revision days for each exam and being able to speak to colleagues who have been through the process before also provides me with invaluable advice on how to approach my studies.
S: Having completed the APC pathway, I have been able to qualify as a Chartered Surveyor. As I didn’t study an RICS-accredited undergraduate degree, I studied part-time to gain a Real Estate Post-Graduate Diploma. Once my university course finished, I spent my summer writing a written summary of my client experience and my technical knowledge about the real estate sector before having a panel interview in the autumn and becoming chartered.
Although my formal days of studying are over, with the vast amount of learning and development courses that Deloitte has to offer, I know that I will never stop learning!
What have you valued the most in your first year and what do you hope to achieve in the next few years?
C: I have found the team to be supportive in developing my personal brand, through social events and helping to develop my ideas. There are also many different channels available to help you develop the skills you need to excel in your contribution to clients, and I have found that people are always willing to help if you have questions. I hope to gain more experience across a range of clients, especially within our Corporate Real Estate and Facilities Management proposition which I’m particularly interested in, and qualify as a Chartered Management Accountant where I can use my knowledge to add value to client solutions.
Sophie is an Assistant Manager within the Occupiers and Capital Projects team. Having joined Deloitte in 2018, Sophie has recently qualified as an RICS Chartered Surveyor having undertaken the Management Consultancy Pathway. Sophie has experience with private and public sector clients, helping them with workplace strategy, asset performance management and technology solution implementation programme.
Ching-yee Hui is a senior associate within the Real Assets Advisory team. She has experience in supporting clients with their workplace strategy, and has completed a seven month secondment with a large corporate occupier, where she helped them to manage changes in their offices across the UK and in Europe. She has worked closely with clients to improve their facilities management operating models and support the transformation of global corporate real estate functions. Coming from a pharmaceutical background, Ching-yee also supports the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry within Real Assets Advisory.