Catch up by the Coffee Machine: Callum Durrant

Callum was with Avamore from June 2021 to June 2022, carrying out his placement year from the University of Reading. He has recently become a student full-time again, heading back to his fourth year in his Real Estate degree. Having spent the past 12 months with us here at Avamore, we thought we would catch up with him to find out how he found his time with us…

What first attracted you to Avamore?

The energetic team members first attracted me. I had a phone call with Spencer King before my first interview who painted the picture well – a team of young and hungry people who have the autonomy to make their own decisions and put forward new ideas without the pressure of red-tape or ‘heavy process’ which they had to stick by. Since I started university, I have aspired to work in property investment and finance, so Avamore was the perfect opportunity to obtain hands on experience and expand my network. From scouting the website to my first week, it’s always felt like I’ve been working with like-minded individuals who are encouraged to share thoughts / feelings, as well as helping new starters. Finally, the smaller but growing company was a huge attraction for me. It’s exciting when you’re asked to make judgement calls, source new deals and present to Directors on your first week of the job – not many companies can offer this exposure or freedom.

What has your role been at Avamore?

Almost immediately I grew to become a full member of the Analyst team. At the start I was tasked with smaller deals and helping with certain parts of the transaction and excel modelling which quickly progressed to meeting directly with 3rd parties and taking a more hands on approach. From reviewing valuation and MS reports, to speaking directly with Developers, I have been trusted to make solo decisions which are sometimes difficult, but I’ve always been reassured that my team is with me for support on new challenges.

What have you enjoyed the most about working here?

The work culture and fun atmosphere has been one of the most enjoyable parts about Avamore. There’s great energy around the office and the days go quick when you’re having fun. The exposure has been amazing too – I’ve met Valuers, Monitoring Surveyors, Solicitors, Brokers, Developers and other Lenders through site visits, events and conferences which is important for young professionals in order to grow your network. Mostly, I’ve enjoyed the responsibility which comes with working at Avamore. The work pace is quick, and expectations are high, which encourages you to learn swiftly. After my first couple of weeks, I was running my own deals from start to end, of course with help along the way, but the ability to act on my own interest has been amazing.

What’s a moment you’re most proud of?

A moment I’m proud of, was presenting my first deal to our credit committee. By the end, it was business as usual, but with every deal there are high stakes on the line and people’s emotions involved, which for the first time can be daunting. That being said, meeting a developer for the first time was challenging, and coming from University everything is new at the start, so putting myself out there and managing difficult situations has been very satisfying once they’re resolved.

What will you miss the most?

I’ll definitely miss my team the most. I’m lucky to have joined a vibrant, aspirational bunch led by great people who you find yourself looking up to. It’s goes without saying that I’ll miss the social scene too. The quarterly meet-ups where the whole company gathers together, are a lot of fun and a nice way to be rewarded after high joint effort.

What’s next for you?

After I finish my placement, I plan to travel South America and make the most of what could be my final summer as a student. In September, I’ll return to the University of Reading to complete my Real Estate degree, which I’m hoping will be easier given the skills I’ve learnt at Avamore! I plan to keep in contact with the team whilst at university and discuss future opportunities within the company and the property finance sector.

A note from our Director:

Straight away we knew that Callum was a great pick for our placement student programme. As soon as he arrived, he got stuck into the work offered to him with great determination and the enthusiasm we’ve seen from him throughout hasn’t relented in his time here. 

He developed quickly with us, and naturally increasing his responsibility over time wasn’t a difficult decision. He continued to take each new challenge in his stride and proved time and time again that he really is a fantastic employee. 

I’m sure the rest of the team will join me in saying that we’ll miss him a tremendous amount and wish him the best of luck in his final year at university and everything thereafter.”

Philip Gould, Director