Harriet Walker-Arnott

Programme: MSc Real Estate, 2015

Current role: Senior Surveyor, central London development team, JLL

After completing my undergraduate degree in International Relations at the University of Leeds, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in property development. I felt that studying for an MSc would help me break into that career.

I chose the Business School (formerly Cass) due to its strong international and financial reputation. Financial literacy is increasingly important in the real estate industry and compared to other programmes that I’d looked at, the MSc in Real Estate, offered a stronger focus on finance.

The academic staff are experts in their field and provided valuable insights into the  industry. For me, one of the most useful aspects of the programme was the cash-flow modelling, which I still use and apply in my role today.

One of the highlights of the programme was the international elective. I went to Madrid to do the infrastructure course. It was a great opportunity to learn abroad and was a completely different area of the built environment that I hadn’t really considered before.

I was part of a really good cohort and was lucky enough to make many long-lasting friendships. I met many people from different pathways, not just limited to the property real estate group, which broadened my network. A lot of my contacts now live abroad, so it has opened up international networking and friendships. Also, 10 members of my cohort work in my current company, so I still see them lot.

The Career and Professional Development Team helped me to refine my CV and provided help when it came to applying for jobs. Though I already had a fairly good idea of the path I wanted to take, their advice gave me more focus and direction.

The MSc programme definitely gave me more confidence, particularly with the finance side.It was an intense and thorough year. It also gave me much more of an international perspective, especially in relation to the real estate market, because we weren’t just looking at cities in the UK, we were looking at markets across the world.

Toward the end of my MSc, I secured a place on a graduate programme at JLL, a world-leader in real estate services. I am still with them today and I have progressed to the role of Senior Surveyor in the Central London Development Team. Now working in the industry, I see how much I learnt and got out of the experience both professionally and personally.