Graduate Spotlight: Robin Didier
Congratulations on being named as a Future Leader! Can you tell us more about it?
The programme is run by EG and was designed to showcase the next generation of industry leaders, especially those from underrepresented groups. We will be challenged on a unique communication training programme to build our presenting and leadership skills. I have always shied away from presenting and now I have to do it in front of 500 people! It’s a huge honour to be selected and given that I’ve always craved to see someone like myself within the industry, it’ll be great to provide that visibility for someone else.
Can you tell us a little about your current role and company? What do you enjoy most about the job?
I am a Junior Asset Manager at Ellandi, who manage a vast selection of both public and privately owned retail assets. We are committed to driving forward sustainability and inclusivity within the communities we serve, and for me, to be able to say that I am closely aligned with the company ethos is a major bonus. The breadth of my role is the most fun and the most challenging – every day there is something new to learn and a new story to bring back home.
Why did you choose REP and Henley Business School?
There were two things that drew me in: the amazing greenery and gardens on campus as well as the reputation of the REP department. If you are going to do something, why not go to the best school for it? Another huge selling point was when I came for the open day and went shopping in town afterwards, there are so many great stores! Now I think about it, it’s safe to say I’m in the right job.
How do you think your time in REP set you up for your current role?
Final year was really career defining for me – your chosen pathway is really important and should match your interests and skillsets. Professor Sarah Sayce and Dr Steven Devaney both ran engaging and thoughtful projects in property valuation and asset management strategies. The optional modules also give you the opportunity to match your interests and gives you something to talk about at interviews. I did a module on social enterprises and not only was the lecturer one of the best I’ve ever listened to, but the group project was super fun to work on.
Any standout lessons you learnt over your time here?
Jane [Batchelor, Career Consultant] put together an exercise to identify what motivates you professionally and where you want to see yourself in five years. Whenever I’m trying to sell myself, I always remember those pillars that I identified that day. The essay portion is also really useful to look back on and use as a reference in your applications or just as a general check-in on your progress. There might be other work due, but really put some effort into those careers lectures.
What would your advice be for prospective undergrads be?
Don’t get distracted by other people’s journeys – you’ll see a lot of people looking like they’re studying super hard, getting internships, and getting top grades, but your journey is the only thing that should matter to you. Your grades do matter, but for instance, instead of getting work placements, I started my own business (it failed) and worked part-time. Most employers are not looking for someone who knows it all, but rather someone who is independent and forges their own path. Be different.
What would your advice for graduate jobseekers be?
I would remember these few points:
- Do some soul searching to find out what motivates you, your strengths and your weaknesses. Use those to sell yourself.
- Never spam apply – put energy into tailoring yourself to the job description and the company, including the culture. You’re more likely to get in if it’s clear that you want it.
- Be yourself, there is so much value in your own story.
What is next for you – what are you excited about happening next?
I work internally on our Vision board, which is all about sustainability and Diversity and Inclusion. I have already been in touch with some amazing organisations and I am really excited about developing a work placement programme targeted at marginalised groups and engaging in more events. I also sit on the ULI’s Diversity and Inclusion committee tackling industry-wide issues. Alongside that, I have so much learning and growing to do within my day-to-day role – and it’s only going to get better once we return to normality.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Robin, and for being our first Graduate Spotlight.
Find out more about Robin and his journey from REP student to Junior Asset Manager and EG Future Leader.