Industry opportunity for real estate students

Waist-up image of Griffith graduate Jessica van Rooyen in bright coloured dress.
Real estate and property development graduate, Jessica van Rooyen, says work experience in the industry is crucial.

Real estate and property development students at Griffith will have the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience through a new link with Oliver Hume Real Estate Group.

The innovative project involves a $2500 cash bursary provided by Oliver Hume, a six-month paid internship with the organisation and a $1500 involvement in the industry study tour undertaken by third year students.

The project is the brainchild of Andrew Perkins, National Head of Research at Oliver Hume.

“It has been a passion of mine and I felt the timing was right to launch it in Queensland,” he said.

“I’m aware of how hard it can be for graduates to get into the industry and also how the industry can benefit from the input of university-trained individuals with a sophisticated background.

“This kind of project improves the quality of people flowing through the organisation and the industry.

“Through the six-month paid internship, students will gain extensive experience and exposure to the many different parts of the business from funds management to research to the apartments division.”

Industry Connections

Oliver Hume has already established a similar project with RMIT University in Victoria. Mr Perkins says Griffith lecturer Dr Shane Barry was proactive when the idea was touted for Queensland.

“Industry connections with organisations such as Oliver Hume are essential for the development of students and key to delivering a property major that is industry relevant,” Dr Barry said.

“The property industry in its many forms has always been very supportive of the Real Estate and Property Development major as we continue to engage with industry partners.”

The Oliver Hume connection was forged and strengthened after Griffith business student Jessica van Rooyen took up a part-time position in the company’s research division.

Jessica completed her degree part-time while also working at the Gold Coast office where she found the hands-on experience rewarding.

She says the industry experience gave her the confidence to build on her degree and take her career forward.

“I felt it was important for me to get work experience where I learned on the job so I had something extra to offer employers after graduating.”

The 22-year-old is now a Corporate Marketing Executive for Oliver Hume Real Estate Group in Queensland. She graduated from Griffith with a double degree in real estate property development and marketing in 2012.

She applauds the proactive, innovative approach of Dr Barry who brought industry representatives into the classroom at every opportunity and took students out into the work environment.

“I believe 100% that in the property industry you learn so much more through experience than theory,” she said. “With other degrees it is different. Work experience is absolutely imperative.

“My degree gave me a very good foundation but there is a lot of stuff you cannot learn in the classroom.

“We had a lot of guest lecturers from the development industry who informed us about things that were happening in the industry there and then. We also did study tours to development sites to witness it firsthand.”