DESPITE all the trials and setbacks of the pandemic year, the talented and determined 2020/21 cohort at DM Hall, one of Scotland’s foremost firms of Chartered Surveyors, have passed the final professional hurdle of their exhaustive training with flying colours.
Six out of six of the Scotland-wide firm’s young stars sat the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), which qualifies them as members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Their achievement is enhanced by the difficulties they have faced in a period of shutdowns and working from home, when they have often been isolated and have unable to shadow their mentors and colleagues.
The make-up of this year’s cohort – four women and two men – also illustrates the success of the firm’s long-standing commitment to increasing diversity in the profession and to seeking the best possible talent regardless of personal characteristic.
With another tranche of hopefuls sitting their assessment in the autumn, it is likely to be a record year for fresh talent in the firm, reinforcing its policy of emerging into the recovery stronger and professionally refreshed.
Ian Woods, Commercial Partner across the West of Scotland offices, who is heavily involved in education initiatives at the firm, said: “The firm is committed to diversity and opportunity for all and are delighted that of the six successful candidates, four of these were female, adding to the growing ranks of female professionals within the business.
“This is a splendid achievement by these young people, who are already adding value and bringing new ideas to the office.
“It also vindicates the firm’s encouragement of staff who want to further their professional careers through non-traditional routes, which can take you as far and as fast as the more usual entry route to the profession.”
The six surveyors who qualified this time are:
- Alex Graham, who works in the Edinburgh residential department. He previously worked as an estate agent in the Edinburgh area for a number of years and, while working full time, completed an MSc in Real Estate with UCEM.
- Vanessa Harris, who works in the Cumbernauld residential office. Vanessa joined DM Hall in 2018 and is a graduate of the University of Glasgow with an MSc in Real Estate and Regeneration.
- Oliver Lawson, who is with the Commercial Agency in Edinburgh. He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2018 and has a comprehensive knowledge of the Edinburgh property market and represents a range of clients.
- Margaret McDowell, who is with the Hamilton residential branch. Margaret joined the firm in 2018, graduated in Business Management and went onto complete her Masters in Real Estate and Regeneration at the University of Glasgow.
- Leanne Saunders, who is a surveyor in the Dunfermline residential office. Leanne was studying for a BSc (Hons) in Real Estate Surveying at Edinburgh Napier University when she began working for DM Hall in March 2016. She graduated in June 2018.
- Hannah Sime, who is a residential surveyor working from the Kirkcaldy and St. Andrew’s offices. She carried out work seasonally while studying at Edinburgh Napier University and joined the team full time in July 2018 after graduating.
John McHugh, Managing Partner of DM Hall, said: “There is pleasure across the firm at the success of these hard-working, and high-achieving young professionals, who have overcome the difficulties arising from an extraordinary year.
“Their achievement and their acceptance into the professional body illustrates once again that non-standard ways of entry can allow young surveyors to absorb the standards, ethics and ethos of the firm at the same time as they are progressing their careers.
“They are the future of the profession and everyone in the firm will be joining in their celebrations in the knowledge that the future could not be in better hands.”