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People Series – Harriet Lee gives her views on her time at Deloitte so far

Tell us about yourself and what you do in O&CP?

Prior to joining Deloitte, I was in practice as a chartered surveyor for 3.5 years. I’m a Manager in the Occupiers and Capital Projects team, having joined Deloitte in 2019. My primary area of focus is supporting public and private sector clients with developing and delivering workplace strategies. A recent project involved supporting a client with a cost reduction programme which focused on how to rationalise their real estate. I worked closely with them to develop a strategy for how to relinquish space and use their remaining estate more efficiently. Having a background in real estate was hugely beneficial to support my client with identifying the key value drivers that could help to deliver cost savings.

As a qualified surveyor, what first attracted you to a role at O&CP? How does a career at Deloitte compare to working at a traditional property consultancy firm?

I had experience in real estate, but I wanted to diversify the type of work I was involved in. O&CP provided a great opportunity to work with notable and high-profile clients and on a range of challenging and prominent projects. As a chartered surveyor, working in O&CP uses knowledge and skills from a career in practice and applies it to a whole new way of thinking and working. We focus on working with clients to get to the right answer through integrating into teams, providing insight and developing solutions.

I've really enjoyed the opportunity to apply new-found skills and knowledge in new ways such as designing and leading challenging workshops for lots of senior stakeholders. I get to run several workshops and I find them to be really creative, fun and engaging.

What has been your most enjoyable experience at Deloitte?

Working with genuinely inspiring people has been the best part of my experience at Deloitte so far. Everyone I have worked with have been experts in their respective areas and are passionate about the work they do, and the value brought to clients. I have also benefited from several people who have taken personal interest in my development, helping me to shape my short and long terms goals and providing me with opportunities to develop new skills. O&CP is also a very social team, and we have regular networking and social events where I can catch up with colleagues working on different projects to mine.

Does your qualification influence the work you do now?

My qualification developed my interest in real estate, and although I don't practice in the same way, the understanding of real estate is really useful and underpins a lot of the work I do. Additionally, lots of the skills I developed in my previous role proved to be transferrable such as client management, report production and the importance of doing extensive research before developing deliverables. It was also a helpful way to demonstrate my technical skills in the area when applying for my role.

What advice would you give to other surveyors interested in moving to a similar role to yours?

My advice would be to always remain open minded and remember that the skills you have gained throughout your qualification have a wide range of applications. My role now is incredibly varied and diverse, probably more than I expected when I was studying Real Estate Management at university and going through my chartership. There is lots of information out there about potential career pathways so doing your own research can be invaluable. And if you think O&CP in particular could be a career option for you, reach out to someone from our team or have a look at the range of job opportunities we have available!