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The Next Generation: a career in commercial property

Tue 3 March 2020

Stephanie Dixon is a Graduate Commercial Surveyor at youngsRPS in Newcastle city centre; however, that wasn’t always the plan. Here, she tells us about how sometimes, the best careers are the ones you stumble upon…

What inspired you to want to become a Chartered Commercial Surveyor?

Well… I didn’t know I wanted to be a Commercial Chartered Surveyor until three or four years into my career. Like the best things in life, I stumbled across my passion for the profession by accident!

Tell us about how you got there…

I started out doing a degree in Business Studies undertaking specialist modules in accountancy and economics and had plans to make a career for myself in one of the big accountancy firms. After graduating from Manchester University, I came back home to the North East and I secured a job as a residential sales and lettings negotiator, initially to earn a wage whilst I applied for accountancy jobs; however, I really enjoyed it and worked my way up to branch manager. During that time, I discovered my passion for the property market and wanted to explore further; this led me into a role that gave me the opportunity to work across both the residential and commercial markets. Now here I am, working towards becoming a Member of the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) as a Graduate Commercial Surveyor at youngsRPS!

It’s good to speak to someone that hasn’t gone down the traditional route towards a profession; what is your main take away from the journey?

That support is everything. Entering any industry, a little bit later can be scary, but you must embrace the unknown and put yourself out there. The North East has a particularly significant support network in the business community, especially when encouraging young talent. I am Vice Chairman of the RICS Matrics in the North East; a community of young professionals that have been integral to my professional and personal development. I also think that there is a lot of B2B support cross-sector; attending networking events and seminars hosted by other professional firms put me out of my comfort zone but I have met so many people. You never know when you require the help of someone else, or they require yours, so widening your pool of contacts is integral.

You say you’ve been studying towards your RICS accreditation whilst working, is that challenging?

Time management is key… but I’m not going to sit here and pretend it’s easy because it isn’t. Whether you go down the traditional degree route to attain your industry qualification, or the professional route like me; you still need to study and practice simultaneously. It’s a good habit to get into though, you’re always up to date with the market, best practice and legislation.

Finally, if you were to give any advice to someone about to enter a career in commercial property, what would it be?

Put yourself out there. Your contacts are invaluable!