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Jemima Cooke

Apprentice surveyor with Fisher German.

Tell us about your background

I come from a farming family spread across Shropshire – ranging from Shifnal to Clun. My immediate family are contract farmers, specialising in cereals, whilst the rest of my family farm livestock – cattle and sheep. I absolutely love the outdoors, I spend my summers carting from harvester to store, with my Sprocker spaniels by my side. I’m a complete rugby fanatic, Saracens all the way!

What made you want to become a Valuer?

I knew that I didn’t want to be sat behind a desk for the rest of my life, that was a certainty, but when I began researching degree’s I found that the REALM (Rural Enterprise and Land Management) course really caught my eye. The chance to combine the outdoors and countryside, speaking and working really spoke to me!

Why did you choose the Degree Apprenticeship route through HAU?

I chose the pathway as it was the most suitable, and most beneficial route for me. Being able to apply classroom education to practical activities allows me to learn on the job, and therefore makes it easier for me doing written assignments as I can make more sense of what I am talking about. The opportunity of this pathway came from working in Shifnal Severn Hospice charity shop, where a colleague from Fisher German found me accidentally whilst he was shopping – he was the real reason the apprenticeship scheme developed and is now in progress, as he pushed for the pathway. I felt proud of the fact that a company was willing to invest in me and my future, it really is something to know that a firm can see potential in you as an individual and offer such a career boost.

What are the highlights of your studies so far?

Although I currently focus on Utilities and Infrastructure, every day I am faced with a diverse activity that is thrown my way – from connections, new watermains or a sewage pump to examining dimensions of a potential barn conversion or even drafting a grazing license for a client. At Harper, I enjoy valuation the most! Although I’m not excellent with numbers, the course leader Lucy is incredibly understanding and supportive – to the point where I feel confident in what I am doing… which is unheard of when it comes to maths! Like previously said though; I find it beneficial being able to apply my every day activities to the classroom, as everything makes a lot more sense once put into practice!

Where do you work alongside your apprenticeship course?

I work for Fisher German LLP, based in the Stafford office – one of 16 offices across the UK. Fisher German is a firm that offers a diverse range of integrated chartered surveying, consultancy and estate agency services. Fisher German are a national firm with widespread appearances across the 6 property market sectors, ranging from; rural, commercial, development, residentials, utilities and further developments into infrastructure.

The aim is to develop individuals into becoming professionals who can manage the complexities circulating practical responsibilities that are dealt with daily. Fisher German offer their apprenticeships the opportunity to develop as professional individuals through daily routes, such as working closely with their assigned line-managers and project teams to assist on active schemes for the company. This pathway allows first-hand experience of networking with contracting companies, like Severn Trent Water Limited on schemes enabling an apprentice to apply classroom knowledge to practical experience, thus benefiting the individual to enlarge their knowledge.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I want to mitigate and adapt to the future that we will face, being part of the younger generation implies that I will be one of many who will have to deal with the aftermath of Brexit. During A levels I did an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) based around Brexit and the impact it will have on the agricultural sector. I understand that it is a vital industry that we need to reap the potential from to boost the economy after Brexit. I would like to grow within the company as best as possible, with the potential to be a partner of the firm and give back as much as Fisher German has offered to me. I look forward to a future walking along pipeline routes, or valuing a rural property, and the networking efforts that will be necessary!