Linda McGregor started her career at DM Hall in 2002 and has played a valuable role in various departments within the firm including: Business Sales, Building Consultancy and Property Management. In amongst this busy career and a young family, Linda has been on a determined journey to complete her Property Development and Valuation degree. Having just been awarded a 1st class honours, we caught up with Linda to hear the challenges she has had to overcome.
Q: What was your main driver in undertaking the Property Development & Valuation Degree
Linda: My colleague Juliet Robertson in Edinburgh Commercial had recently completed her degree and APC, whilst working. When discussing this with Juliet, it was something that interested me. Little did I think it would take me nine years, due to the course changing and the small matter of bringing two wee girls in to the world!
Q: Give a brief background to your career at DM Hall
Linda: I started working with DM Hall in 2002 and joined Suzanne Lawrie in our Business Sales department in Edinburgh as an Administrative Assistant. I quickly progressed, gaining valuable experience within the Commercial Department. In 2009 I moved to the Building Consultancy department. At this point I was still studying at university with a few years to go and I was about to go off on maternity leave. When I returned to work in 2010 I continued in the department, had another year off on maternity, and then remained there until 2014 when I moved to Property Management in Livingston. Moving back in to a surveying position was always something that I wanted to do, so I was happy with the move. I have learnt a whole new part of the business and enjoy working within the department.
Q: How did you find the balance between work, home life and studying?
Linda: Initially it was easy to fit in university work and I had a lot of support from the surveyors within Edinburgh Commercial Department who gave advice whenever they could. Going back after I had my first daughter Beth in 2009 was a bit more difficult. In the end, I took a year off from work and university to concentrate on Beth. When I returned in 2010 it was a bit of a juggling act but I made it work with the support of my family and in particular, my partner Graham. The most difficult time was trying to complete my dissertation last year with my younger daughter Chloe pulling at my hand to drag me away from my laptop. I persevered and ended up with a First Class Honours degree, so it was worth it and she understands that now!
Q: Were DM Hall supportive through this process?
Linda: The support from all of the surveyors in Edinburgh Commercial was great in terms of providing me with additional experience that full time students at university just wouldn’t have had. My boss in Property Management, Jan Palmieri, has been hugely supportive since I moved to the department, as the last two years were the most intense at university. She always gave me the encouragement to get over the final hurdle and for that I will be eternally grateful! Jan had so much faith in me she even had a present waiting for me on my desk the day of my results, without even knowing I’d passed!
Q: Now you have graduated – what is next?
Linda: I’ve registered for my APC and am now on the road to getting Chartered. It’s been a long slog but I will get there in the end and it will be worth it!
I think showing my daughters I’ve been able to manage all this and have succeeded has been a really good example to set them. Going to university straight from school isn’t always the best route to take and I think I’ve demonstrated that if you want something badly enough and you continue to persevere, you can achieve anything!
We would like to say a huge congratulations to Linda for her determination and hard work. Good luck with the APC!