Global President of RICS addresses RREF Mentoring Reception (EU)

Registered charity Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF) welcomed See Lian Ong, Global President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, to speak at its 2012 Mentoring Reception on Thursday March 1, 2012.

Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF), a charity set up to provide support for real estate and planning education at the University of Reading, and the School of Real Estate & Planning at the University of Reading were delighted to welcome See Lian Ong, Global President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, to its 2012 Mentoring Reception, an event inspired by RREF's Mentoring program initiative. The event was hosted by leading law firm SJ Berwin in the City.

The RREF Mentoring Reception is an opportunity for Real Estate & Planning alumni and students to come together in the form of 'Mentor and Mentee' partnerships for an evening of networking. The event stems from the RREF Mentoring Program, an initiative designed to provide students with a mentor in the industry, offering them a deeper insight into the sector they aim to join. Mentors come from a broad array of previous Reading graduates and include people who have become some of the leading figures in the real estate industry, for example Sue Clayton, Executive Director at CBRE, who has been a mentor for four years.

The mentors guide and advise mentees from the second year of their degree course onwards, or through their Masters course, passing on their industry knowledge, helping to improve their CVs as well as encouraging them in finding relevant work experience. RREF have been running the scheme for four years and has increased the number of mentoring partnerships from 182 in the first year, 2008, to 312 pairs now.

The event was also a chance for Mentors and Mentees to hear from Bryan Laxton, UK CEO Cushman & Wakefield and RREF Trustee, who helped found the scheme and also personally mentors two students from Reading each year. Welcoming quests, he said: "We are very proud to have the first non-British RICS president at our event and as a happy coincidence See Lian is also a Reading alumnus."

See Lian Ong, who graduated in 1976 in BSc Quantity Surveying, spoke on his time at the University of Reading, his support of RREF initiatives such as the mentoring scheme, and a global perspective of the RICS. When talking about RREF and the Mentoring Program, he said:

"I think what you do in creating the forum for networking with industry players and providing mentoring opportunities is a tremendous help for young people who are just qualifying and getting into the industry."

The program's success is thanks to the hard work and commitment put in by both mentors and mentees. Participants have the chance to nominate their mentee/mentor to be the Mentor or Mentee of the Year. Last year's winners, Mentor of the Year, Nick Pemberton, Partner in Commercial Investment at Allsop, and Mentee of the Year, Georgina Botterill, Graduate Surveyor at Cushman & Wakefield, both talked about their experiences and the benefits of the scheme.

Guests enjoyed the evening with a mix of mentors, student mentees and Real Estate & Planning academics. Roger Gibbard, Acting Head of School for Real Estate & Planning, attended the Reception and commented:

"The RREF Mentoring Program is a highly successful initiative, and a valuable part of the Real Estate & Planning experience, from which our students gain a huge amount. I was delighted to see so many people attend the event last night, it is certainly a great way for mentors and mentees to meet and catch up in a professional networking environment."

Source: FTI Consulting

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