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Kerryn’s top 3 tips for property and real estate students

"I enjoyed working in this environment and appreciated all the encouragement."

Upon completion of her undergraduate degree in arts and management, Kerryn Ball was unsure what field of work she wanted to explore.

Seeing an entry level job at Opteon Property Group advertised on Deakin’s employment website, she decided to apply, was offered the job and soon found that property and real estate was a really enjoyable and interesting industry to work in.

‘I really enjoyed working in this environment and appreciated that I had a lot of encouragement and support from my manager to return to university to gain my property qualification in order to become a certified property valuer,’ she says.

While studying at undergraduate level was a breeze, Kerryn was not quite as relaxed when she commenced her Graduate Diploma of Property.

‘I thought that it could be difficult to complete a degree while working full time,’ she explains.

‘But, I was surprised to find that the course really catered to my situation and I was immediately confident that I could manage both work and study well.

‘It was great to have lecturers who were approachable and encouraged an online community in each unit, supporting the cloud (online) delivery.’


Kerryn’s top 3 tips for property and real estate students

  • Try to complete an internship or find part time/full time employment in a sector of property that interests you most, as this will add another layer of understanding to the content in the course and will better prepare you for employment once you graduate.
  • Network as much as possible, it will not only assist in finding a graduate position but will also provide exposure to different sectors of the industry and you will be able to make a more informed decision about the path you want to take. There are many young professional groups you can join, the API student membership is a great way to get started with this, as well as the property society at Deakin (DPRESS).
  • Get involved – make the most of getting to know your fellow students, as once you graduate these will be your potential colleagues and industry peers and it will be helpful to have these contacts throughout your career.


Taking the path towards a career in property has opened many doors for Kerryn and she has certainly proven to be a valuable addition to the industry herself.

In 2014 The Municipal Group of Valuers (MGV), the largest discussion group of the Australian Property Institute, recognised Kerryn as the 2014 Emerging Leader.

The entry criteria for the award centred on the ability to put forward a suitable research topic, which was relevant to the industry and could also deliver recommendations to the MGV.

‘I was very surprised and excited to be successful in winning the award, having only worked in my current position for a few months before applying.

‘So far it has been an amazing opportunity to gain insights into the industry and also for networking,’ she says.

Kerryn’s award research project is based on the gap identified between what students learn at university and what graduates need, to work in the municipal valuation sector specifically.

‘I currently finalising my research report and analysing the results of a survey I sent out to gain some primary data. I am off to the IAAO Conference in Indianapolis next month and will be presenting my findings at the MGV Country Conference in October,’ she says.

While working on exciting projects such as this, Kerryn is also striving towards gaining her Certified Practising Valuer (CPV) accreditation, which she hopes to achieve very soon.


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