In need of a little career advice!!
I'm currently enrolled in a Master in Finance program at a regional target. I just recently accepted an internship in acquisitions for the Spring semester at a real estate private equity group with about $1 billion AUM. In the interviews, they said I would move into a full-time acquisitions analyst role after graduation if I did well, but I'm pretty sure the pay is below street. I am also recruiting with a few bulge-bracket real estate banking programs (not IB, think commercial lending and a little CMBS). In the long run, I want to land a cushy acquisitions analyst position with a large REPE group in my area.
My question is this - should I try to stay on the buy-side as an acquisitions analyst for a group with a small AUM and work my way into larger groups down the road, or should I do a RE analyst stint with MS/JP// and move back into acquisitions after 2-3 years? Which track is a more practical route to real estate investment managers with $10+ billion AUM?
Side-note: I'm aware REIB is a better option. My GPA isn't great, so I'm trying to break in the side door on this one.