Estate Management Students Learn Keys for Industry Success

Estate Management Students Learn Keys for Industry Success


Principal Partner of Gbenga Olaniyan & Associates during his presentation titled, “What you are Not Taught at School,” at the Department of Estate Management’s Town & Gown seminar, posed the question, “What manner of person are you, a digger, a steward or a beggar?” In the interactive seminar, held on Thursday, October 29, Mr Gbenga Olaniyan shared a number of things students need to prepare for when they leave the “gown” and enter the “town.”

Mr Olaniyan opened his presentation by sharing a number of current practises and what he considers to be game changers in the industry. The first of these was office ambience. He emphasised the importance of keeping your office in a way that is inviting to others and upholds the reputation of your business. Another game changer he mentioned was salary shift. He quoted that if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys; meaning that companies who pay their staff poorly, end up with staff that perform their job properly. Many companies have started to realise this, and a shift in salary rates is starting to occur. He encouraged students to graduate from university with good grades and to position themselves within the industry.

Mr Olaniyan stated, “In life we see a lot of different things and what you see will determine what you’ll become.” He gave the example of Walt Disney who once saw a rat; something many would consider a pest. However, he perceived it differently, using it as inspiration to create the character of Mickey Mouse, which led to his fame and earned him millions of dollars.

Mr Olaniyan also shared some keys for students presenting themselves for employment. He stressed the importance of packaging your CV like you are first class. “Ensure the margins are aligned and that it looks professional. Many people do not have their CV read simply because it is poorly presented,” he remarked. With such a competitive employment market, students need to take these small things into consideration in order to have a competitive advantage.

An aspect of job interviews he addressed was personality. “Don’t frown, be at your best,” he advised. “It is normal to feel nervous at an interview but remember the person interviewing you is not a lion. They won’t eat you. The worse you can get is a ‘no.’”

He also emphasised the importance of attitude. “You can be taught on the job, but it is difficult to be taught an attitude.” Mr Olaniyan went on to share an experience with a staff member employed at his firm who had a negative attitude towards punctuality and his work, and ended up leaving. “You can’t say that you never smile but you’re good at you work. It doesn’t work like that,” he remarked. “Your attitude will determine your altitude.”

He asked the gathering to consider which type of player they are; a digger, a steward or a beggar. He defined a digger as an entrepreneur who pursues goals to a logical conclusion. Stewards were defined as people who manage another’s business or financial matters. They put structures around an idea in order to nourish the idea. On the other hand, a beggar is a person who believes the solution to his problems lies with others. “He is mentally lazy and can’t smell opportunity,” Mr Olaniyan remarked. He encouraged students to embrace a culture of hard work and to aim to be a digger or a steward.

In his response the Head of Department, Estate Management, Dr Ajibola Olusola thanked Mr Olaniyan for his informative and engaging presentation. He went on to advise students not to box themselves in to a corner, but to carve out a niche for themselves. “There are gaps out there, you must decide what gap you will fill,” he concluded.

Also in attendance were Sub Dean, Estate Management, Professor Oloyede Samuel; other members of the Department of Estate Management and members of the Directorate of Media and Corporate Affairs.