Robert Orr graduated with a BSc Urban Estate Management in the late 1970s from Oxford Polytechnic (as Oxford Brookes University was then called). Following 30 years working in a variety of roles at Jones Lang LaSalle, he now holds a portfolio of non-executive director and advisory roles within the real estate sector. Robert has mentored two students so far and is about to take part in the third year of the mentoring scheme. The photo shows Robert (left) with his mentee taking part in the marshmallow challenge at the mentoring scheme launch in 2013.
What is your background and why did you choose to go into Real Estate?
Father was a country vet in Shropshire and I did some work experience at a local rural estate manager and estate agency. I had little idea what I was letting myself in for when I was accepted on the BSc Urban Estate Management programme at Oxford Poly.
Why did you choose the course at Oxford Brookes and what did you enjoy most about your time at Brookes?
It was actually the only course I could get on. I loved every moment, Oxford is a great city to be a student and offers a very good social and sporting life.
What have you been doing work-wise since you graduated?
I worked at Jones Lang LaSalle for 30 years in the UK, Paris and Germany and then the UK again. I was appointed Chief Executive Officer of EMEA Capital Markets for 7 years and left in 2009. I now have a portfolio of non-executive director and advisory roles.
Where do you work now and what do you enjoy most about your job?
I am enjoying the diversity of roles, more freedom and discovering the wider world outside mainstream property.
Why did you decide to take part in the Mentoring Scheme?
I have always been a big advocate of the value of coaching and mentoring.
What kind of support did you offer your mentee?
I helped mostly in connection with work experience and the dissertation. Communication was mostly by email and telephone.
How do you feel your experience as a Mentor has benefited you?
I received a very nice and unexpected note and present from Adam when he achieved a First Class Degree and felt the guidance and ideas I had given him for his dissertation made a big difference. Can’t ask for more satisfying feedback than that.