Summer 2023 Internship
I am a Junior at a top school (in New York) and have been endlessly applying to different internship opportunities at real estate companies. I've probably applied to 200+ positions at this point, have had <10 interviews, and nothing has materialized yet.
I did not get an internship for my sophomore summer, and because of the lack of success I am having I am now starting to get extremely worried I won't be able to find an internship for this summer.
My mom makes her living flipping houses so a lot of my time in high school was spent helping her out with manual labor as she did renovations herself. I met a lot of contractors and it was just fun experiences helping her out. She made an investment in me to attend my university and it's starting to eat at me that I'm not able to find anything even though I know I'd be able to thrive in any position I am in.
Does anyone have any advice?
It is never easy to get a foot in the door. A few ideas:
- Aim small. Look for very, very small local/regional developers and property management firms. Not sexy, perhaps, but they may have more informal policies around interns and you'll have less competition than some massive entity that gets 1000+ resumes a day.
- Find someone who will do mock interviews with you. Do you have any professors who can connect you with industry professionals? Maybe there are flaws in your game/self-presentation (which is fine - we all have them - self knowledge and knowing how to present yourself are key).
- I assume you're in B-school. Have you approached career services at your school for help? Have you talked to professors? I know those avenues do not always seem promising but the bottom line is, you must exhaust all avenues.
- Quick story - one of the sharpest, most fun acquisitions guys I know started out 5 years ago as an intern at my old boutique shop. He wrote a solid cover email to the firm's owner (mind you, 10+ people worked here...not a big name) and articulated a desire to come in, intern, and learn. She was impressed, brought him in, and hired him for a summer (which turned into a summer + fall...6 months of paid intern experience for him). Funny thing is, she ultimately didn't like him, and did not extend him an offer when he left (he was too funny, too good a person, and too sarcastic for that dry, miserable old b**** to see any value in him - but I digress). That kid was a hustler and he made things happen for himself. Keep at it!
Thanks for all the tips.
I will definitely do #1.
I am not sure if interviewing is my biggest problem as I pass the majority of HR screens, but it's the 2nd and 3rd rounds where I don't make it through so there probably is something there. I guess maybe an issue is that I am not sure what to ask when the interviewer prompts me if they have any questions.
I have a finance professor who is trying to connect me with an opportunity, so I am hopeful for that.
Thanks for the advice. First tip is helpful and I will start to send some emails.
Dude. ASK QUESTIONS. I know it's hard, but I made the SAME mistake when I was young. I thought...."if I ask questions, they may sound like dumb questions". So I didn't ask. Now, when I interview people, I primarily want them to ask me questions and I am skeeved out when they don't. BTW, not trying to criticize you - but just want to strongly encourage you to ask more questions of the actual skill position people that you meet. It is totally acceptable to have a written list of questions in front of you that you reference in an interview. I think it shows preparation and dedication.
Idea: go on LinkedIn and start shamelessly cold-linking and cold-emailing people. Make a quick pitch, explain in brief what you want, and be gracious/polite. Remember that these people like to talk about themselves and like to think they are imparting wisdom. Play that to your advantage.
I wish I had asked for feedback and accepted it humbly as a young kid out of college. It'll pay off, kid.
What are some questions that I could be asking that would demonstrate greater interest in the role?
There are plenty of resources out there for questions to ask in an interview - a lot of the typical IB questions are general enough. A couple good ones are asking specifically about the day-to-day of the program and asking about your interviewer's thoughts on the direction of the business/economy at large. Just make sure that you research the firm to the best of your ability beforehand so you aren't asking a question which is answered on their website.
I appreciate it.
Great advice there, I would echo it. Ask about the big picture - what they do, how they do it, what tools they use to do it, what skills are important in their daily work, what is the outlook for the business they are in. Also, ask about the day-to-day.
Getting into a firm and getting an interview is entirely on how you structure your resume/cover letter, as well as how you portray yourself in an interview. You are only a student so the most important thing employers are looking for is passion and a self-starter attitude.
Since you do come from a top university, you should not have an issue landing interviews at the very least. Otherwise, something is wrong with your resume and application.
happy to discuss more offline if you need guidance on how to get your foot in the door. I've been an interviewer at BlackRock and other large asset managers for years.
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