Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

How an apprenticeship at the University of Sunderland helped progress my career

Home / Student blogs / Guest blogs / My apprenticeship experience

Published: March 4, 2019

Hi, my name is Colleen and I'm a Property Management Coordinator here at the University of Sunderland.


I started my journey with the University of Sunderland back in 2006 within Property Management at St Peter’s Gate Business Centre as an Administrator. Here I supported the Business Centre Tenants and the drafting of the occupational tenancy agreements for all commercial lettings across St Peter’s Gate, The Industry Centre, and the National Glass Centre. In 2009 I was promoted and managed the operation of both St Peter’s Gate and The Industry Centre, which I fully embraced and developed within my role.

In 2015, there was a change in the directorate and both Commercial Buildings moved under E&I.  I made a decision to stay within Estates & Facilities and I moved over to Tech Park to work directly under the wing of the University’s Chartered Property Surveyor, continuing my work in supporting the Business Centre’s and Glass Centre in drafting all their tenancy agreements, but also taking on more responsibilities for lettings across our Estate and developing within Property Management.  

The Property Management Team are responsible for the provision of a comprehensive range of professional surveying services to Estates & Facilities and the wider University regarding all aspects of operating and managing the University’s extensive property portfolio. The more I have developed within my role, the more apparent it became that as good as it is to learn and be taught on the job, this would be best supported with a professional qualification. The timing of the Apprenticeship Levy Scheme was perfect and with the support of my Line Manager and Director I was able to enrol on the Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship - Real Estate course in September 2018 at Northumbria University.

This qualification will provide me with a valuable opportunity to build on my existing property management skills and will enable me to develop an in-depth knowledge of the wider scope of technical surveying disciplines that will support the needs of the business throughout the period of my study and thereafter.  As the degree is supported by the RICS, I will have the opportunity to apply for chartership status.  Such an outcome would support succession planning for the future development of the Estates & Facilities.   

The University has been extremely supportive in encouraging me to make this step back into education after such a long time.  I am thoroughly enjoying my degree course and would highly recommend this route of development to anyone wanting to progress in their career.

Coleen Compson

Colleen Compson 

Property Management Coordinator


Topic: Advice and tips