Posted 28 February, 2022 OBI BLOG

I have spent over 10 months at OBI within their Transactions and Asset Management team and 6 months doing my degree apprenticeship. The experiences that it’s given me are substantial as a 19 year old. Comparing it to my previous job working in a nuts and bolts warehouse in Stoke with a very repetitive workload, I can say that it is more challenging, proactive and informative; there is a diverse and constant workload.

I did well during my years at school, I always got what I needed to pursue the route I wanted to go down. College was a good space for me to look into what I wanted to do as the work there was not too concentrated. I could have gone down the conventional route of going to university for three years. I was going to go to University and sit 3 years there doing either Real Estate or International Business, but the opportunity of working at OBI alongside undergoing a degree apprenticeship at Salford University came about and I had no second thoughts to take it on. It was a bit daunting at first as I was not used to a professional atmosphere and felt a bit useless and apprehensive as I did not know a thing. But as times gone on, I’ve settled in and I’ve got stuck into my learning.

I am currently studying BSc Real Estate Surveying (Planning and Development) at Salford University. Most of it has been online but now I am on campus for one day a week studying the basics of valuation and economics. Degree apprenticeships, in my opinion, are a way to really maximize growth and knowledge. It is very efficient as I take what I learn at University and apply it to work and it operates visa versa. Practical experience is gold dust in this industry at my age so I am soaking it all in with grace and enjoyment.

I have done a fair share of work at OBI so far, such as preparing heads of terms, measuring suites, lease summaries, terms of engagements, lease renewals, search reports, letters of engagements and shadowing investment advice. For most of these tasks, assistance is needed but in time I’m confident that I’ll be able to have a good crack at it by myself. I’ve also shadowed numerous office viewings including both serviced and conventional and I’ve now done several on my own too.

For me personally, I feel very lucky to be involved in the Smithfield Works scheme in Stoke, I’ve been given the responsibility to assist on viewings and enquiries. I grew up in the area and to be a part of the most exciting regenerational project there feels great.

Working with colleagues that are big characters and possess great experience and knowlege is immensely helpful. I am consistently hearing conversations whether it being in meetings, calls or even general talk that I can ask questions about. It is safe to say I am soaking in a lot of information on a daily basis.
OBI have set up a learning program for me to keep track of my progress. As little as it sounds, it has been essential for me to learn the fundamentals like answering phone calls and sending out emails in a professional manner which I had never done prior to joining OBI. Over the time I have been here I have matured – this is mainly down to having to act with professionalism. I still have a bit to go and hopefully living in the city centre independently will help me. OBI have covered the University fees of the apprenticeship and are also renting me and 2 other apprentices an apartment to save us from a lengthy commute.

All in all, I am greatly appreciative for this opportunity at OBI, they have given me a chance to develop and aim towards a consistant cycle of goals. I have been given a lot of responsibility considering my age and the amount of experience I have and I don’t want to let them down. In the present being, my aim is to set short term goals in all aspects that will benefit me in the long term. I can fully recommend the apprenticeship route – a combination of education and real life work experience.