Where are they now?
Mark Ibbotson graduated with an MA Commercial Real Estate (MA Commercial Property)
What did you enjoy about your MA?
I found the MA to be a greater challenge than my undergraduate degree, yet this made it all the more worthwhile. The degree puts a great emphasis on readying you for a career in property with many of the skills acquired over the course of the year are directly applicable to such a career. Everybody on the course got on well and I was able to develop some close friendships with my course mates. We regularly helped each other out with assignments and enjoyed a fair few course socials together in the process! I am really glad I made the decision to take the course at such a well respected university.
Why did you decide to take the MA you did?
I have had a longstanding interest in property from a young age. However the decision to pursue a career in the property industry came later on during my year out after my undergraduate degree in Geography at Newcastle University. The modules I focused on during my undergraduate studies were very much focused on urban issues and whilst I was travelling in Asia I decided that I would love to work in property. In order to do this I knew that I would have to take a RICS accredited degree and the MA Commercial Property at my hometown university instantly stood out.
Why did you choose The University of Sheffield to study?
Having grown up in Sheffield I knew what a great place it was to be a student. There is so much to do and the city relies on the students as much as the students rely on the city! The Students Union regularly comes out as the best in the country and the university won The Times University of the Year 2011. This combined with the great reputation of both the university and the Department of Town and Regional Planning made the decision to study here a no-brainer!
Do you think the MA has set you up with the skills to move into employment?
Absolutely. In contrast to my undergraduate degree in Geography the MA was very vocational and I have acquired many skills directly applicable to a career in property. Most of the assignments considered real life scenarios in the city on which we had to make informed decisions. To be able to go and visit the sites gave a much greater sense of involvement than any fictional location would. The great range of modules linked directly to career pathways in commercial surveying jobs, such as Valuation, Investment, Property Law and Property Development, gave a great sense of what a career in the industry will involve. The careers service at the university is also top-notch and they have helped me numerous times in my application for various graduate schemes.
How did you feel about winning the IPFET Prize!?
Finding out that I had won the IPFET prize came as a very welcome surprise! The MA Commercial Property degree was a challenging yet thoroughly worthwhile experience. The dissertation was no different in this respect and for my efforts to be acknowledged not only with a good grade, but also with an industry sponsored prize means a lot to me. The standard of teaching at The University of Sheffield is very high and I credit much of this success to the guidance I received from my tutors and lecturers throughout the course of the year. I really enjoyed my time taking the postgraduate degree and I believe it has put me in a great position to pursue a career in property.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I am currently interviewing for a number of graduate schemes with some of the larger firms in the property industry. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have managed to secure a position with one of these firms and will start my training towards becoming a qualified chartered
surveyor in two years time. I can't wait for the challenge of a long-term career in property. I feel that I definitely made the right decision in taking the MA as it was the first step towards getting involved in an exciting and rewarding industry.