Mary-Felicia Gomez – 2023 Shortlisters

Posted on: 10 February, 2023

Apprentice Surveyor, CBRE


Mary-Felicia was in sixth form when her school briefly discussed the option of a degree apprenticeship as an alternative route to a traditional degree.

The idea instantly appealed to Mary-Felicia, who had become interested in real estate after working part-time as an estate agent: “I just knew that I would like the real working world and I thought with real estate being a practical industry it made a lot more sense to go into the real environment,” she said, explaining that learning from professionals with years of experience was also a big part of the appeal.

Mary-Felicia began her research, which included Googling firms in the industry to find those who offered degree apprenticeships, and exploring their providers, too. But Mary-Felicia didn’t stop there: she also reached out to current apprentices of those firms on Linkedin and asked them about their experiences. “That gave me more insight into what it’s like living and working as an apprentice because it’s not usually spoken about in day-to-day life,” she said.

All of Mary-Felicia’s research paid off when she was accepted on to CBRE’s apprenticeship programme, delivered by UCEM. “I’m grateful it’s UCEM,” she said. “The support from the tutors has been great. You can arrange one to one calls, and there’s also the forum where students can discuss and speak with each other if they’re confused about an assignment or the content in general.”

It was Mary-Felicia’s colleague at CBRE, Frankie Andrews, who nominated her for the award, commenting on her willingness to advocate for apprenticeships by making TikTok videos of her experiences, and attending school events.

Mary-Felicia has found being shortlisted for the Rising Star award to be “motivating and empowering”, adding that “it makes me feel very happy and valued that UCEM even want to give this award in the first place to someone who’s just started. I’m looking forward to the ceremony!”


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