19 March 2020

My UEA Story: Luke

Languages and Communication Studies Alumni

Job Title: Partner
Employer: Knight Frank
Location: Paris

Please explain how your career has developed since graduating.

I qualified as a Chartered Surveyor at Knight Frank specialising in commercial property. After a few years in the pan European investment team, I moved to Paris and have since become a Partner heading up the international investment desk.


What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?

I travel throughout France advising a wide range of international clients on the acquisition or sale of office, retail or logistics buildings. There is huge variety to my role. Working and living in Paris is not so bad either!


What steps did you take in finding employment (e.g. careers centre, job websites, networking events)?

I found an article in the careers centre at UEA talking about chartered surveyors. One section referred to a commercial property surveyor based in Continental Europe, earning a good income. I decided that was exactly what I wanted to do!


What are the key skills you learnt at UEA?

French language, plus important core business skills.


How have they made a difference in your career?

Massively so. My studies gave me a very wide ranging skill set and the confidence to apply them to the working environment.


If you use languages in your job, how do you use them and what do you use them for?

I use my French throughout my working and private life whilst living in France. Professionally, I use my French for all communications, including negotiations etc.


What is the professional and personal value you place on being able to speak a language other than English?

Providing a unique service to international clients not speaking the local language. Making the most of another culture.


Can you provide a short description of an incident from your time at UEA, your year abroad or your professional life which stands out (language related or not)?

Spending a year on a work placement in Paris was the best year of my life at the time and meant that I wanted to find a job that would permit me to return to France in a professional capacity.

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