Having started at Workman in September 2019 via the firm’s Graduate Scheme, Russell Hilditch was recently promoted to the role of Associate.
What three words describe Workman?
Friendly, supportive, trusting.
Having joined Workman as part of its renowned Graduate Scheme, why do you think this approach is important for the industry as a whole, and why would you recommend it to others?
I completed the Master’s degree conversion course, having come from a non-property background. I think the Graduate Scheme that Workman offer is really beneficial because it offers graduates from all different types of backgrounds and different degrees the opportunity to move into property, which in turn makes the industry more diverse.
When I completed that Master’s conversion course, with UCEM, I thought it was helpful to be able to create an external network by working with other people on the same course.
And also, because there are other people within Workman that have gone through the same route, they can support you with coursework and projects, and they can share their experiences from the Graduate Scheme.
How are you putting your skills to their best use at Workman?
There was quite a big emphasis on sustainability throughout the conversion course. From that, I’ve been able to develop and apply my knowledge of sustainability, and I’ve been able to assist clients with working towards their ESG goals.
So, for example, I was recently involved in a project at an industrial estate, where we installed wildflowers and plants within a green area which wasn’t being used, to create a meadow.
Tell us about your role, and why this is important to the firm and its clients?
As part of the property management team, I work on two different institutional investment clients, for which I am the client lead. I’m also line manager for two graduates and two apprentices.
You’ve recently been promoted to Associate, how do you hope to further develop your role in the coming months and years?
I’m hoping to be able to pass on some of my experiences over the past four years, to provide our graduates and apprentices with tips on how to pass the APC and also if they’re completing the Masters as well, I can pass on my knowledge from that process and how I managed to juggle work, studying, and the APC at the same time.
Eventually I would like to become a Partner in the firm.
What change would you make to the wider property sector? And why?
There’s a big emphasis on sustainability and meeting Net Zero targets that the government have set and also the legal requirements.
But rather than just trying to meet the minimum legal requirements, I think investors should be looking to make commercial properties sustainable in reality.
If I could change anything about the industry it would be that investors would try and go above and beyond to make property as sustainable as possible, rather than just meeting the legal requirements.
What first led you into the property industry?
When I originally started working, I was in accountancy. I realised that wasn’t for me.
So, I started having a look around, to see what sort of roles took my fancy. When I saw the Graduate Scheme at Workman, the role itself was the main thing that attracted me to the property industry; because being a property manager means having a different responsibilities and a variety of different challenges each day.
In accountancy most of the time I was working alone; there wasn’t much interaction with external people and clients. Whereas in property management, we’re always talking to colleagues internally, or people from different backgrounds and different client companies. So that’s something that really appealed to me.
What are your spare time pursuits and how do they feed into your role at Workman?
I play quite a lot of football. And that feeds into my role at Workman because a lot of the time, especially in the summer, we’ll have Workman vs client tournaments, which are set up for networking events.
What is your favourite building worldwide, and why?
The Shard in London. It’s an interesting design, I like the way it looks. And as the tallest building in that area, it dwarfs all the other buildings around it.
What podcast would you recommend and why?
TED Radio Hour It’s very topical, with lots of different people with different voices and backgrounds, and a wide variety of companies involved.