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From Performing Arts to Chartered Surveying

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Y10 girls at Bolton School enjoyed the latest Women of Work (WOW) virtual careers talk with former pupil Emily Hilton née Speak (Class of 1999). Emily, who left Bolton School 26 years ago, is currently a Chartered Surveyor but, prior to that, worked in the performing arts.

Emily recounted how she left Bolton School aged 16 in order to undertake a Performing Arts A level, along with English and Geography before going on to St Martin’s College at Lancaster to study for a degree in Performing Arts. During her course, she explained how she had a change of mindset, moving away from acting on stage to preferring the roles back stage.

One of Emily’s tips for the GCSE students was to grasp any opportunity that comes along and to not be afraid to make use of your contacts and the doors that they can open for you. This bore fruit for her when an aunt had a contact at Universal Studio which allowed her to procure some work experience – which, in turn, enabled her to meet Orlando Bloom who was working on a film called Calcium Kid! Emily told how, over a period of 5 years, she undertook lots of different jobs from Location Assistant to Unit Manager to Location Manager. However, she said, there came a point when she realised she was not getting much beyond London’s M25 and she did not want to continue with London life. She explained how she then took a little time out, returning to Manchester and consulting with friends and family about her next move. Through her contacts she again secured some work experience with a surveying company and liked what it had to offer – stability, variety and a chance to travel and meet people. She went on to study a Masters in Commercial Property at Liverpool John Moores University.

Emily told how competitive the surveying industry is and how she ultimately found a job with the company where she did her work experience. After a further two years, and after passing her Assessment of Professional Competence she was eligible to join the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. She told how she worked in a property management department and   in the valuation team before being seconded to Paris for six months, which she loved. She worked for a number of companies including Jones Lang LaSalle, Travis Perkins and for Manchester Airport Group, where she moved into investment portfolio and then on to Peloton Real Estate, where she still works. Her final advice for the pupils was ‘take your opportunities, who knows what the future might hold!’

During a brief question and answer session, Emily told how her Performing Arts degree had boosted her confidence and communication skills, Love Actually had been the biggest film she had worked on, that her favourite job is the one she is doing now and she also explained the many roles within the surveying industry.

You can watch Emily’s WOW talk via this link.

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