Former tiler tipped to scale property heights

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Former tiler tipped to scale property heights

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Published on 16 November 2016

University of the Sunshine Coast student Ethan Lock is on an exciting journey from the suburban building sites of the Sunshine Coast to the skyscrapers of Hong Kong after winning a competitive international travel bursary for Property students.

The 19-year-old Brightwater resident is the first winner of USC’s Advanced International Property Economics Travel Bursary, and is set to undertake a two-week internship in Hong Kong with multinational real estate services company CBRE.

Ethan, who studies Property Economics and Development, left school in Year 11 to work as a tiler, but gained direct entry to USC in 2015 using his trade qualifications.

Having excelled academically in his first two years of study, Ethan topped the list of applicants for the competitive bursary, which provides $5,000 for the recipient to gain international work experience in the property industry.

Ethan said he became interested in property development while tiling new homes in major residential developments, but only recently considered going to university.

“No-one in my family had attended university, and I was really happy that I was able to get in, because I hadn’t taken the usual path of finishing Year 12,” he said.

“Working as a tiler, I watched estates go from dirt to suburbs, so I thought the Property Economics and Development degree would be a good way to incorporate some of my trade experience.

“I took to uni life straight away. I loved being exposed to brand new information and I surprised myself with how well I did in this completely new academic environment.”

Ethan will soon travel to Sydney to complete a second three-month internship at the GPT Group, which he gained through an Indigenous student cadetship program, before flying to Hong Kong in January to work in CBRE’s Valuation Services branch.

He expressed gratitude for the bursary, which will allow him to gain experience in one of the world’s most dynamic property markets.

“I’ve gone from the construction sites of the Sunshine Coast to working in a big city for one of the largest property firms in the world,” he said. “It’s a huge shift, but to me it just shows that you don’t have to take the conventional path to uni to be successful.”

— Gen Kennedy

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