Case study

AssocRICS surveyor — Adelle Rhule-Martin

After impressing on a period of work experience Adelle secured a degree apprenticeship position at Avison Young

What course did you study and where?

Level 3 Technician Diploma at University College Estate Management (UCEM). I am now studying a Level 6 Real Estate BSc at Birmingham City University (BCU).

How did you get your job as an apprentice surveyor?

I carried out a few week's work experience at my company and asked if they could keep me on as a permanent employee and support me with becoming a surveyor. They agreed and implemented an apprenticeship scheme that I was able to enrol on.

Surveying is a typically male-dominated industry. Why did you decide on this career?

After carrying out work experience at Avison Young I knew I wanted to become a surveyor as I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there. Also, I have never been afraid of being the minority or the odd one out. I believe my differences allow me to provide a fresh prospective on how various processes can be improved.

I am also prepared to step forward and be a role model for the next generation to show them that it is possible for any of them to become surveyor.

Why did you decide to do a degree apprenticeship?

Attending university full time was an option, however I wanted to be able to earn while learning. My two siblings had just completed their degrees and I knew it would be financially difficult for my mother if I went to university full time. She would have found a way to make it possible but I didn't want to be an additional financial burden.

Undertaking an apprenticeship has allowed me to be financially independent while working towards my career and educational aspirations.

What does your apprenticeship involve and where will it lead?

It involves attending university one day a week and working within the industry for the remaining four working days. I have already completed my AssocRICS qualification and now I am working towards becoming a Charted Surveyor.

What's a typical day like as a surveyor?  

One day I could be contributing to plans of future neighbourhood developments and on another day, I'm involved with saving a kitten from a bank. However, there are some more standard tasks involved, such as report writing, providing advice, attending client meetings and general property management.

What part of your job gives you the most satisfaction?

Being able to achieve client satisfaction and show my value as a surveyor.

What are the challenges?

Being able to prioritise tasks based on urgency and not necessarily when they have been received. Also keeping projects progressing at a reasonable pace.

How did you get involved with the RICS and how have they supported you?

I attended an event to meet the west midland regional board. They encouraged me to join the Birmingham local matrics board and that's where my journey started. I am now a member of the National UK Matrics board supporting initiatives concerning apprenticeships.

RICS Matrics has enabled me to develop valuable connections within the industry that I wouldn't have otherwise known. They have also provided me with confidence to become a successful surveyor.

What are your career ambitions?

To become a successful surveyor recognised internationally.

Tell us about 3 issues facing surveying today.

  • Lack of diversity, which hinders diversity of thought.
  • The planning mistakes of the 20th century for example, cars were classified as priority users and this needs rectifying in order to create more pedestrian friendly areas to encourage city centres to expand.
  • It's slow to change as an industry. There is a resistance to embrace new technology and processes.

What advice would you give to other aspiring surveyors?

Make good connections with people within the profession. This industry is not just about what you know, but also about who you know.

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