More about Diane
Why did you choose NTU and your course?
I was coming to the end of a successful career as a specialist nurse in Occupational Health. I was interested in housing (good and bad) as a determinant of health. I wanted to find out about investing in and creating good housing. I felt that the MSc in Real Estate would be a good grounding, particularly as it is recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). As I live in Leicester, Nottingham Trent University was the obvious choice. Everything I read about the university gave the impression that it was lively and forward thinking, and it is. I was also interested in the extracurricular activities, particularly the Powerlifting Club.
Tell us about your background and what you studied prior to continuing into postgraduate studies.
My first degree was in Biology many years ago, before computers were in common use and I typed my dissertation by hand on a portable typewriter. I then trained to be a Registered Nurse and later did a Master of Medical Science degree which informed my clinical practice. So, I am now studying in a field I have no experience in, but the MSc Real Estate is designed for those new to Property. The lecturers are patient in their explanations. They are all experienced Property professionals, and this makes their explanations of principles very relevant and well-illustrated.
Have you been involved in any live projects or industry placements on your course and if so, can you talk a bit about one you really enjoyed?
I am scheduled to do a 20-day placement with housing association in the summertime. I am looking forward to this as it has several divisions. There is emh homes which provides 18,00 homes in 35 Local Authority areas and develops property to this end; emh care & support which provides accommodation to the vulnerable such as the homeless and those needing support and care. The third area is emh sales (formerly Hello Homes.) which helps people to buy property. The caring side sits well with my nursing experience. We are also about to undertake a week-long table-top exercise in the UK, with the objective of assisting an organisation consolidate their 5 offices in the Middle East into one large office. It’s not just about the structures of property, it is about creating working environments that enhance wellbeing.
Does the “real” NTU match what you’d imagined? How does it compare with your friends’ experience at other universities?
I was a bit apprehensive about returning to university and new technology and ways of learning. However, I have had a lot of support from lecturers and participated in sessions run by Library staff on how to study, take notes, do searches, as well as one-to-one sessions to address my specific concerns. The other students on the course have been helpful in showing me how to enhance my Excel skills, and we have had the opportunity to use Computer assisted design (CAD) software. I also have a hearing impairment and use hearing aids, so have been assisted by the Disability Support Services in arranging accommodations and in my application to Student Finance for funding for specialist equipment. I did join the Powerlifting Club and have competed in European and National championships. The other members have been very encouraging, and I have competed for the first time as well as enjoying the social side of sport.
What’s next for you after NTU?
I am leaning towards working with specialist housing for those with disabilities or who are older and have different requirements that may not be found in the traditional family home. This is a rapidly expanding sector due to the aging population of post war baby boomers (like me).