College/University RE Department???

I currently go to a top university in Canada (McGill/UofT/UBC), our school's RE department has internship opportunities. Focus is on leasing and the development of residence, innovation space, and retail. Team is extremely lean, less than 15 folks. Im also guessing comp will be below market due to the fact that they are deploying university capital.

My end goal is REIB, or acquisition at either a REPE or one of the pension RE arms.

How will employers perceive this experience when it comes to those roles mentioned above? (I dont think there is much acquisition going on so I presume the experience wont be that helpful?)

Wanted to confirm my thinking and also would love to hear any different perspectives. 



Comments (6)

  • Intern in RE - Comm

Im also a bit worried about the fact that its the RE dept at my university (not sure whether its endowment investing or not), I could see recruiters thinking "oh they probably only hire from their own school", when in fact I found out about the job on a third-party job board and applied like everyone else, the job wasn't even on the student career portal. 

Better than nothing?

Im sure I can land something. Had an internship with another niche CRE asset class. they are one of the top players at their niche in Canada, and backed by a phenomenal institution. I dont know how to compare a university gig to that shop but Im having trouble justifying this gig will be a step up from the previous one. 

Overall I do want to break into traditional, mainstream asset classes so the experience and skillset can be more relevant and transferable, also nice to have that optionality down the line. 

redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is an internship right? So comp really isn't much of a factor either way. Not sure why they would pay substantially less tbh, unless its part of like a student part-time plan in exchange for tuition or something (this is common with some campus jobs in the US, no idea about Canada). 

That said, it is probably a worthwhile internship. Essentially an asset/leasing/prop mngt style internship for an owner/operator. Doesn't sound like an "investment management" style internship, so you aren't really interning directly where your goal aligns, but this type of internship still has value (knowing actual property ops is good). So, if this is like a thing you can do fall/spring and then do a traditional internship for the summer.... do it! If it's going to replace your chance of another internship, then I'd apply around (include this one), and take best option. 

  • Intern in RE - Comm

Well, i dont really care about internship comp, but I do take FT comp into account (in case there's fulltime opening later). My guess about below market comp is for FT roles, since no one has background in big shops prior. 

unless its part of like a student part-time plan in exchange for tuition or something (this is common with some campus jobs in the US, no idea about Canada).

I doubt this is a student campus job, the role wasnt advertised anywhere on campus, at least not on the career portal - which is where most people get internships from. 

 If it's going to replace your chance of another internship, then I'd apply around (include this one), and take best option.

Yeah bc im trying to get some acquisition exposure, but this seems more development, leasing heavy. So I'll try to land something better. Good advice, thanks. 

Most Helpful
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That all makes sense. This is probably better thought of as "corporate/government" real estate type job. NOT part of the investment management team (i.e. that invests as LPs in funds), as it would be very very different in description. Will say, IF you wanted to do a development career, a FT job as a project manager in something this could totally open doors and let you move to a private developer in a project management focused role. That does not sound like your interest, so may not be best for you, but for others reading, thought I'd point out.

As to the FT comp, I'd again suspect it would be competitive with "corporate/government" real estate type jobs. That can be less than private developers, investment managers, and similar "investment" centric roles... BUT may have other perks like insane job security, low hours, great benefits (like free tuition for your kids), and overall very low stress relative to other real estate jobs. Again, don't think those are your goals today, but there is a market of people for which those jobs are a first choice. 

CREnadian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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