Callum O’Boyle

What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?

I chose Brookes to study real estate because it’s one of the top real estate courses in the country, especially for the master’s. I also really liked Oxford as a place, so that combined with the course was a plus point for me.

What were the best bits about studying the course?

I had just come from Leeds University where they have big lectures of 150 people, so it was quite nice to get back to seminars of 35-40 people. This way you can just learn in a more active environment and be able to put your hand up and ask questions. It was all relatively new material coming from a geography background, so it was good to be in a smaller environment, to be able to get to know lecturers and them to get to know you.

One of the best things about studying at Brookes is the smaller class sizes.

A good aspect of the course was the depth it gave into a variety of different aspects in industry.

Did you feel the smaller classrooms were better to learn on a master’s level?

Yes, I think so because on a master’s level you’re trying to squeeze in 2-3 years’ worth of content into a year so you really need the active engagement to be able to ask the questions, and you don’t have as much time to do extra reading around it, so you want to get the answers there and then.

What achievements are you most proud of since graduating/leaving Oxford Brookes?

Since leaving Brookes, my biggest achievement is getting a job at JLL. I’m now 2nd year grant on the scheme working towards my APC. Hopefully, once I pass that, that will be my biggest achievement but I would say getting a job is one of the highlights for me.

How has a postgraduate course help you in your career?

I think the master’s course at Brookes helped me get a career because the content is very good - all of it is there. You do law, excel, planning, sustainability, whatever it might be. I think the excel for me was definitely a big plus point. So throughout the course, the evaluation theory and investment theory backed up with the excel skills that you’d learn throughout the year. That’s really helped me with my job because that’s essentially what I do most of the day.

Are you involved in Brookes currently or part of the alumni scheme?

Yes, in a way. I attend their events. They put on CPD events, as part of a company property professional, which you have to attend.

How did the course prepare you to work in industry?

The course prepared me to work in industry by teaching me all the things I’d have to do in my job. On day one I had a good set of tools to carry me forward.

What advice do you have for others?

It’s a very much hands on work experience. In order to get there, you’ll be looking for work experience, whether that be an internship, a week here or there, or even just a couple of days - it’s really valuable to get involved in the industry and see how it works because it is different from a course. Real estate, in my understanding, is a very wide spread. You can do quite a lot of different things in it and certainly by beginning my career I never knew there were so many possibilities for me to head off in. The work experience is a key factor.

What do people in industry think of Brookes students?

I would say people in industry know Brookes students and the quality that they produce. It’s an individual thing, you get out of it what you put in and there’s a lot you can take out of it. So I suppose, one of the bits of advice is work your socks off for a year. You’re only there for a year, and your aim is to get a job but also to learn about the industry and prepare yourself for when you are in industry.

What do you think about the teaching staff?

The academics at Brookes are, I would say, fantastic. A lot of them have worked in industry. I think that was quite valuable actually. You obviously want to be taught by people who have been in industry and know what it’s like and sort of get less academic about it. Because it’s not really an academic industry, it’s a hands on knowledge/expertise industry.