School of Property, Construction & Project Management
An interview with Melissa Kok – Alumni of the Property Undergraduate degree.
Where are you working now?
What is your role and what activities does your role entail on a daily basis?
“I am a Certified Practicing Valuer. I value residential property in the inner and outer east near my home. My role incorporates me working from home on my own schedule. I book my own appointments, go into varied types of residential homes, inspect and measure up, then go to either a café, officeworks, the library or home! to finish my valuation reports in a timely and accurate manner.”
What was your favourite part of your degree?
“Meeting people and making friends who would then become my business associates when I entered the workforce and throughout my career. They also introduced me to other property professionals I network with.”
What do you like best about your role?
“The people I meet, the colleagues who became my good friends, the qualification (my golden ticket) to good job security, and contributing to society in a challenging and fun role.”
What attracted you to your role?
“Job security, career progression, pay.”
What is most important to you when looking for a job?
“The company’s reputation amongst its current and ex-staff.”
Tell us about your career journey so far.
“It has been a very long and trying journey. Out of high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. All in all it took me 9 years to get here and I am proud of my perseverance because there were many times I wanted to give up i.e. first year uni when I wasn’t going to go to my exams, or in third year uni when things in my personal life weren’t going very well at all. With the support of my family and friends however I made it! Entering the work force can be very emotional and challenging but if you stick to your guns and aren’t afraid to fail, but most importantly know that things will only improve with time and experience – living in Australia with our degree the world is your oyster!”
Tell us about the challenges and triumphs you have faced as a female in a male-dominated industry
“There has been the “boys club” mentality in some instances, but speak up if you feel that you are being mistreated in anyway if problems persist. Remember, if you feel upset, you are not in the wrong. Your feelings are important and feeling happy, safe and secure at your workplace is of utmost importance. Your employer has a professional obligation to take responsibility of your physical and mental welfare. If you feel that you are not in the position to raise a concern because of your junior role, talk to somebody you can trust at work or a close family friend who works in a professional setting and get their advice. Remember, just because you may be in a junior role does not mean other people can bully you or mistreat you. These issues are and should be taken very seriously in any workplace. If your employer dismisses you, move jobs! We have a very reputable degree and there are many wonderful people out there willing to network with you, and help you get a foot in the door.”
If you could say one thing to young females looking to enter the industry – what would it be?
“Be kind to everyone, keep your integrity at all times and work diligently.”
Anything else you would like to share?
“Don’t give up. I know the valuations career is very long and challenging but at the end of it, you will have so many more opportunities than the majority of people your age in terms of qualifications, career progression, career diversity, career and personal lifestyle opportunities and of course pay.”