Sarah Katherine Thorley
Why did you choose to study this course at Henley Business School, part of the University of Reading?
‘I came to Reading for the Pathways to Property summer school and decided from this that I would like to study Real Estate.
‘Having decided to study Real Estate, Reading was the clear choice. It is top of the rankings and has a great reputation in the industry. Whenever I mentioned to someone that I wanted to do a real estate course, they told me I had to go to Reading!
‘Reading also has really good connections in the industry, and when I came to the Open Day, I just loved the campus – it’s so green, and everyone was so friendly. The Business School is a great, very modern study space and I was drawn to the talks and the job opportunities it presents.’
So did the programme live up to expectations?
‘Actually, it was so different from what I expected. I thought there would be a lot of theory, but it was so much more ‘real world’ than I’d imagined. So much more interesting and engaging. The lectures were great, but I really enjoyed the site visits, which gave us some great insights into what goes on behind the scenes at places like office parks and shopping centres.
‘I studied in Malaysia for a term in second year, as part of a mobility transfer programme Reading runs with Reading Malaysia, and I never expected to be able to do anything like that. It was brilliant to visit Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and to learn first-hand about the Asian perspective on real estate, and experience different cultures and values. It was a real life-learning experience.
‘And a group of six of us went to New York after we won the European regional heat of the Cornell Competition; even though our team didn’t win the global prize, it was also an amazing thing to do.’
So aside from the course, what have been the highlights of your experience so far?
‘The social side of university life has been amazing. I joined the Snowsports Society, and have been on their skiing trip each year. I’m also a Course Rep this year, which means that I’m directly involved in influencing and defining policies that affect all students.’
What are your ambitions for the future?
‘I’ve recently landed a graduate job at Savills in London, which is exactly what I’ve been aiming for some while, so it’s very exciting. With the help of the Careers Team here, I secured a formal internship there between my second and third year, and now I can’t wait to go back, on a full-time basis.’
And finally, what advice would you offer to anyone considering this course at Henley?
‘Be open to all opportunities and possibilities! Get involved in everything. Go to the talks, meet the people. Engage with the Reading Real Estate Foundation – they organise a whole host of things including informative lectures by potential employers. The Henley careers team and the real estate specific careers advisor offer so much support so make the most of it! Reading is second-to-none when it comes to industry connections and employability, so when you mention that you’ve been to Reading, they automatically trust that you are well prepared for a career in the sector. If you embrace it all, you can’t fail to have a good time!’