My journey to becoming a Surveyor – Nikki Brooks
I am Nikki Brooks and I currently work as a Graduate Surveyor in the Valuation & Advisory department for just over the last year. However, I have worked in Cushman & Wakefield for almost seven years. My journey to becoming a surveyor is a little different to the norm!
My professional background was in PR, advertising and marketing which included stints in a radio station and Information Technology publishing houses. However, when the recession hit (showing my age here) this became a rather difficult industry to remain in.
I had also built up some years’ experience in administration work; so I found myself in a regional Real Estate Alliance branch and a DNG branch in South Dublin more recently. I found the property world extremely interesting, however, never quite felt the push to move into the world of residential sales.
In 2014 I started in Cushman & Wakefield (then DTZ Sherry FitzGerald) as an administrator in the Retail and Investments department. Instantly it was apparent that the commercial world of property was quite different and how much I enjoyed it. I knew from quite early on that this was something I wanted to do (agency work) and I started to wonder would I actually take the plunge and go back to college and take on the SCSI degree course part time.
After a few years of listening to the respective teams and getting involved in events I decided to take the jump and discuss the possibility of me one day becoming a surveyor with my line managers. C&W were hugely supportive from the beginning and as a company have a really exceptional graduate program to help you along the way. Every member of staff from my admin colleagues and management, have been thoroughly supportive from the word go, and it truly makes a difference when you are going about things a bit different to the usual (and a little older than the rest of the graduates they are used to!).
Fast forward a few years and in September 2019 I moved a few desks down the way on the first floor of our offices in Ballsbridge and started in the Valuation department. Today, I am in my final year in TUD, I have my property license and have registered to start my APC pathway. I will note here that my original plan of going down the agency route completely changed once I started college. I enjoy valuing most of all. It is incredibly challenging and still a year in I have a huge amount to learn, but it is definitely the career I wish to pursue and ultimately become a chartered surveyor in order to become registered with the RICS.
Doing it this way has its pros and cons. It helps that you already know your colleagues and the company systems and processes, however it is also a little difficult to juggle both learning on the job at a more junior level that most grads who have completed the four years, and college lectures and study. However, it is hugely rewarding, and you can surprise yourself with how much you can achieve when you put your mind to it!