10687141_10152695285784231_1011364200546227153_nAge: 27

Job Title: Beach Bum. Currently in Sri Lanka on ‘gardening leave’ from my old job, but when I touch down at Heathrow, my new job title will be: Chartered Surveyor & Associate Director in the Central London Restaurant Leasing team at CBRE.

Which means: I find restauranteurs to fill vacant spaces within Central London on behalf of private land owners or institutional landlords- basically, I’m a glorified broker!

Did you go to uni? I gained a BSc in Property Development at Sheffield Hallam in 2010.

Do you have to have a degree to do your job or is work experience more important? Yes, in order to be a Chartered Surveyor you have to have an accredited degree! Work experience is very important, but unfortunately surveying is one of those professions that you have to decide on before applying to university. However, there are 1 year masters courses that students can undertake whilst in practice and lots of the big surveying firms usually sponsor grads to do this.

Were the exams difficult to pass? Any tips for revising? My uni exams were easy but the real challenge was trying to pass my APC to become chartered. When I sat it the first time, I was the only person doing it within the firm, so studying, staying motivated and having a full time job was really hard and I ended up failing! However, the second time round I had lots of help from BGP (my last company) and managed to pass! So if at first you don’t succeed, etc…

What was your first job after graduating? Entering into the profession in the middle of the recession meant that jobs were hard to come by, so I opted to work in Property Management (the less sexier side of surveying), which meant that I was responsible for managing multi-use buildings in and around London. The duties that were required of me ranged from setting service charge budgets to making sure there was enough toilet roll in the communal toilets!

So how did you end up at CBRE? As soon as I started property management, I knew it wasn’t for me, so when an opportunity came up to move into the ‘sexier’ side, I took it! I went to work directly for a private landlord doing asset management/leasing. This was great as I got exposure to all sectors of the commercial market- from offices and warehouses to retail and restaurants. From there, I knew I had a passion for retail/restaurants and being the personable person that I am, I thought I’d make a great agent. I guess the rest is history.

What does a typical day at the office look like for you? At BGP, I would often get to the office for 8am and respond to emails and voicemails from the previous day. I reported to clients on a daily basis, updating them on the process of leasing. A lot of time was also spent with colleagues, discussing and planning leasing strategies for the developments I was working on. This involved collating schedules or drafting professional reports and presentations. As a restaurant leasing surveyor, it’s important that I know about all of the up and coming restaurants, so my lunch times are regularly spent trying them out with either clients or agents. Lots of my time is also spent showing prospective restaurateurs and retailers around properties and developments or advising my client’s architects on retail specification requirements during the design stage of a project.

What do you suggest wearing to an interview? Surveying is typically quite smart, so I would always recommend wearing a suit or smart dress and heels to an interview!

What’s the culture like? A huge part of my job is being social. I am out 2 to 3 nights a week, with clients or other agents, and the success of my job is heavily reliant on my ability to communicate with others.

What’s the most exciting project you’ve ever worked on? I worked on the redevelopment of Victoria, London – the Nova development – whilst I was at BGP. This is a mixed-use development of just under 1 million sq. ft, including residential properties, offices, retail spaces and restaurant units. I was part of the leasing team who are responsible for leasing 18 exciting new restaurants; examples of some of the names we have secured are The Riding House Café, Jason Atherton, Barbecoa, Bone Daddies and Franco Manca.

Do men dominate your industry? Surveying is – sadly – a very male-dominated industry. There are times when I notice my voice may not be heard, but the younger generation of surveyors are very accepting, which aids in my progression.

Where do you see yourself in two to three years time? I love my job and love being independent. I will always want to be looked up to and strive to maintain a good reputation in the industry. I have no set goals other than that I want to be happy, possibly work abroad and earn shit loads of money…

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would it be? I’d love to be a furniture designer… I’d like to think I’m quite creative.

And finally, what one piece of practical career advice would you give to your younger self?

Be confident and read your emails 5 times before sending them… you can never get them back!


A powerful woman and good friend of mine. Any questions? You can ask them here.


Photo Credit: What Olivia Did

Age: 26

Occupation: Digital Journalist and Social Media Editor for Glamour Magazine

Which means: I make the decisions on how we manage our different online channels and the ongoing content strategy that sits behind them. I work with the wider editorial team, working closely with my online editor and the print team to ensure the brand stays strong across all social media channels. I’m also a freelance journalist for a whole host of different magazines and I am writing a book.

Did you go to uni? I went to Southampton and studied English Literature and Film studies. Mark Kermode did a few guest lectures, which was cool. I graduated in 2010.

What have you been doing for money since then? Lots of things. Copywriting, editing, book-writing, social media consulting, branding, doing talks, workshops, events, commercial projects and freelance writing. Fingers in pies, basically.

Have you always wanted to work somewhere like Glamour or did you have anything else in mind? Yep, I always wanted to work at a magazine. Even as a toddler I’d waddle straight over to the magazine section in supermarkets. I’ve always been obsessed with mags, books and online editorials. As a strong-minded woman who loves culture, fashion, tackling women’s issues and reading interesting features it was always one of my ideal places to work.

Do you have to have a degree to do your job? (Be honest!) Or is work experience more important? I can only speak to my own experience on this one. If I’m 100% honest, I don’t think my degree was useful in the sense that I’m in debt and I don’t remember anything I actually learned in my essays or seminars. In the three years post-uni I achieved things beyond my wildest dreams just by rolling up my sleeves and DOING IT. University was very hypothetical and I didn’t really enjoy the experience. I wish I could have dived on into the industry at a younger age, but then I don’t know if I would have even got my first job without a degree on my CV. So, it’s a catch 22 because back then it was all about the “grad scheme”. Now, I think there are lots of other “apprentice schemes” which means no degree needed. For me personally, yes, I did probably need my degree to get where I am today, but I can’t help but think it could have been shorter; three years was a long time to bum around and do a small amount of learning.

I love your blog. Why did you set it up and how much of a part did it have to play in landing your current role? I started my blog in 2010. I don’t think it played a huge part in me landing my current role as I’d had 5 years of social media and writing experience on my CV, separate from my blog, but it’s definitely a nice added bonus when someone notices you have one and that you keep it up! I totally recommend blogging for your own personal pleasure.

Whats a typical day at the office for you? No day is ever the same! One day it could be that we’re out in the afternoon at a hotel location interviewing a celebrity or that they are taking over our Twitter, or we’re in a planning meeting, or I’m out meeting commercial clients, or spending a day at my desk doing presentations or lots of emailing, scheduling interviews, writing a feature up or hosting a brainstorm. Lots of different things. I normally go out for lunch with a PR, or grab something with a colleague.

Is working at Glamour glamorous? Ha ha ha. I’ve been asked this before. I guess it is! It’s Britain’s number one magazine based in Mayfair, how can it not be? But everyone’s really down to earth and cool. It’s NOT Devil Wears Prada.

Whats the dress code and what do you suggest wearing to an interview at a magazine? Be yourself but look smart and feel good. There’s no real dress code. Lots of people dress up, some dress down, some dress in the middle. I can’t do “casual” in the office because I like getting “in the zone” on my way to work, but as Winter approaches I will definitely be getting the woolly jumpers out! I think smart-casual is a good middle ground, so you don’t feel too dressed up but you feel CHIC.

Whats the best thing youve been asked to do in your job so far? Interviewing Lena Dunham.

The worst?  When I was asked to go and buy my boss some underwear.

I hate when people ask what you think youll be doing in ten years from now- I dont even know what Im having for dinner tonight! So I’ll ask you where you see yourself in two to three years time instead. What are your achievable goals? I think I’ll still be writing and working at a magazine, hopefully working on book number two!

As a creative, are you nervous that the industry is changing? I personally find it really exciting. As a blogger and working in “traditional media”, I think I’m quite good at noticing trends in both areas. I think new formats and platforms are growing so it’s up to the people behind a brand to move with the times, change platforms and understand people’s behaviour. Basically, you need to reflect on where you’re at every few months and see if you need to “upgrade” your site or change direction. Same with blogging. I find it worrying when people think YouTube is just a phase. I find people who say “that’s not how we normally do it” or refuse to change process or take risks quite frustrating, because the Internet changes so quickly that it’s important to keep up with new trends. You have to watch your competitors extremely closely.

And finally, what one piece of practical career advice would you give to your younger self? 

Say yes to everything. Then learn to say no to stuff. Be confident with what your worth.


Emma is one of my favourite bloggers and an all time lovely lady. Super talented and always friendly, she is sort of my inspiration in that she is publishing a book next year. So, basically, she’s living the dream. Or at least my dream. I guess now I know one way of going about doing it too.

If you have any questions for Emma, say hello!

*photo credit goes to Olivia Purvis of What Olivia Did*