I am currently in my final year of my undergrad degree (business) and I am leaning towards CRE brokerage for my first job post-graduation. So far I've completed a 4-month internship as a Research Analyst with a boutique brokerage that specializes in retail - I would consider working here after graduation, however, I plan to move to a larger market in Canada (Vancouver, Toronto), and would like to move to the US ASAP (I know that's a bit of a pipe dream for now, given the difficulty of finding a visa sponsor). I also hope to switch to the development/investment side of the industry once I feel I've gained enough experience.
The next 4 months I will be doing another internship as a Research Associate with a municipal government-owned, economic development company, and after that I have another 4-month internship which I hope to work for a larger RE development/investment company
My question is how to maximize the likelihood of receiving a job offer in either of these markets (or in the US, if possible). Since I will have a decent amount of time during these next 8 months outside of work, are there any designations/certifications I should pursue? I considered writing my CFA level 1 exam this June, however after doing some research I realize it does not go very in depth on real estate finance. The CCIM designation seems to be more applicable, however it appears to be not as well known. Also, would it be worthwhile to get my real estate license before graduating, or will I likely be placed in an analyst role starting out?
Any advice is much appreciated!