Skip to main content

Sam Oliver

Sam, tell us about how you came to choose this particular course?

After I did my AS levels, I didn’t quite get the grades I wanted, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I spoke to quite a few friends who were lawyers or surveyors or actuaries, just to find out more about what they were doing, but it was the people who were in property who seemed to have the most job satisfaction, so I decided that was what I wanted to do.

In the end, I got AAB in my exams. I did quite a lot of research into Real Estate courses, and the Reading course seemed to be ranked in top place in all the listings, so here I am!

What were your expectations, and how has the reality differed so far?

I came in with an open mind, and probably because I’d done quite a lot of preparation – reading various books and getting some experience working in a commercial property agency – I found that I already knew a lot of the content during the first year.

But this year has been much more challenging, with lots of in-depth analysis of projects, which I’ve really enjoyed. I’m now choosing my options for my third and final year, and I think I’m going to do modules on Appraisal & Asset Management, Decision-Making & Risk and Investment Strategy.

How are you enjoying life at the University?

The lecturers are really friendly, and very responsive – they always answer my emails promptly! And there’s a fantastic support structure for students.

‘Socially, it’s a good life, and there are lots of opportunities to meet people. I’m Vice-President of the Reading Real Estate Society, which involves organising talks and co-ordinating activities. And I work behind the bar at the Students’ Union, so I meet lots of people there!

What advice would you give to anyone considering this course?

I’m signing up for the Rural Pathways option for next year, and that fits in perfectly with what I’d certainly recommend that they get some relevant work experience in a property agency, for example. I found that to be incredibly worthwhile.

They should also do some background reading. Two of the books that I found particularly interesting and useful were ‘Undercover Economist’ (by Tim Harford) and ‘Planet Property’(by Peter Bill).

You need to really apply yourself to get the most from the course. Go beyond the minimum.