Alex Darlington

Senior Surveyor, Investment

Birmingham, UK

Meet Alex Darlington

What is your role at Avison Young?

Senior Surveyor, Investment. How did you get into commercial real estate?

Completely accidently. I was at Loughborough University open day looking at doing my undergraduate degree in Psychology, when I noticed a stand at the fair for Quantity Surveying which looked interesting. I discussed the fundamentals of the course with the course representative but was advised that Real Estate would probably suit my interests better.

I subsequently researched universities with Real Estate courses and careers in Real Estate post-university, and attended two more university open days at Nottingham Trent University and the University of the West of England.

I still applied to Loughborough and a couple other universities for Psychology, as well as three for Real Estate, and had to make my decision between the two courses when my offers came in. I decided to take the plunge and do my undergraduate in Real Estate at Nottingham Trent University. Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

Not one person but two – my parents. They have instilled in me from a very young age the importance of hard work, but have also always been there to support me in any way possible along the way. They have both had successful careers in their respective fields and I have seen them both overcome many obstacles along the way, which has demonstrated a level of professionalism and resilience I hope to mirror in my own career. What is the best advice you've ever received?

Make as many contacts within the industry as you can – it’s cliché but true. What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

Don’t think of yourself as being branded a “woman in the workplace”, or a “woman in real estate”. As soon as you fall into that trap, you’re feeding the gender inequality issue. Do the best you can every day. Work as hard as you possibly can every day. Show everyone and the industry that it doesn’t matter that you’re a female, because you can do the job as well as anyone else out there. How has Avison Young supported you as a woman in business?

Avison Young has been incredible at supporting me in the business, however I believe that is because it’s a great company to work for with a great graduate scheme and company culture, as opposed to me being a ‘woman in business’. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

As well as Psychology, I was also interested in doing my undergraduate degree in Events Management. When I was in college I quite often put on local concerts and festivals at local venues for rock / metal bands and so I channel that interest nowadays by being the social committee chair for the Birmingham office.

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