Charlotte's story

Postgraduate student Charlotte shares her experience on the MSc Real Estate Management & Investment course

I did a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history and criminology.

It was interesting, but I didn’t particularly see myself working in either field. Since graduating, I moved from Melbourne to London, and then on to Edinburgh, working mostly in event management and administrative positions.

Although some of my admin work was for property consultancies, I was conscious of having very little experience in the industry compared to other students, however the course caters well to varying levels of experience and I’ve done much better than I would’ve expected. 

“I found out about Edinburgh Napier’s MSc Real Estate Management & Investment course through the RICS list of accredited courses.” 

I was already familiar with Edinburgh Napier as my partner is also a student there and he had told me about the supportive staff and good facilities. 

The course focus on valuation was also a major draw for me.

One of the key things I really enjoyed during my studies was learning from industry professionals who were able to provide a practical context to the course content. 

I’m on track to graduate with distinction, which is a very satisfying acknowledgement of how hard I’ve worked for the past year. 

Transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate studyCharlotte Gelber

After doing some administrative work for a commercial property consultancy here in Edinburgh, I became interested in becoming a valuer. At first, I was hesitant about returning to uni, but the staff are really supportive, and I had some great classmates.

My undergrad and postgrad experiences are very different, as my undergrad was done in Australia and was more for the sake of learning, rather than aimed at a particular career. My master’s has been a specific step towards becoming a valuer. 

“Re-adjusting to being a student after years in the workforce has been a challenge but seeing a tangible link between the course content and my career plans was a great motivator.”

I was originally quite worried about returning to study after five years, but I found that even though the course is hard work, it was much easier to dedicate myself when working towards a specific goal.

I was also worried about being older than the other students, but the course had a great mix of young and mature students.

I haven’t been working since I begun my course, and being able to focus entirely on full- time study has been really important to me. The workload is heavy at times, but if you’re dedicated and manage your time then it’s fine. 

Edinburgh Napier has a great careers team who are a useful resource, as they organise regular events to help students acclimate to their course or plan for after graduation. 

Student life in Edinburgh

I lived in Edinburgh for 18 months before starting my course and I love the city from the perspectives of a professional and a student. I was glad to be at the Merchiston campus, as socialising after class was easy and there were so many great pubs and bars nearby.  

My favourite times of year in Edinburgh are during December when everything is set up for Christmas, and in August during the Fringe Festival. The festival is great for students, as there are so many free shows and the city really comes alive. 

24hr computing facilities 

I really enjoyed having 24-hour access to the Jack Kilby computing centre. I think I did some of my best work late on Saturday nights in the Kilby while it was quiet! 

“I would recommend the course. We were taught by a range of academics and industry professionals who provided real world context to our course content.” 

Although I was focused on the valuation related modules, the course covers a range of topics and would be a good basis for someone who wants to work in property but isn’t sure yet about the specifics. 

Don’t be intimidated by a lack of experience in the industry or an unrelated undergrad. The course is well designed to provide students with the background and basics required before learning more and specialising on the job. 

Support from fellow students

A good study group can be invaluable. I learned a lot from my classmates, and talking through my dissertation topic with a peer really helped me focus in on my research priorities. 

What’s next? 

Unfortunately, there is a current lack of graduate property jobs due to the pandemic’s impact on the market, and so I will likely temporarily take an administrative job. 

I’m from Australia and my partner and I are moving there permanently when he finishes his master's next year. I’ll then begin a graduate commercial valuer position and work towards becoming chartered.