Entry Level Jobs with Minimal Experience?

Hi guys so I just graduated this past semester and I figured out pretty late into college what I want to do with my career. I really want to be an analyst for a brokerage working in debt/equity placement. Sadly in College I didn't get enough experience to get those kinds of jobs. I had some minor real estate internships but they were more research based. As someone with minimal experience and a fresh grad what's my best course of action? I know it will be hard to land an analyst job at the big 4 with my current resume but what can I do to boost it up? I'm thinking about getting my Argust certification and also I have been learning real estate financial modeling on the side for my own benefit. I also have been networking a ton but nothing fruitful has come out of those just yet. What entry level job prospects do I have? I'm feeling very lost and confused so any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!

Comments (16)

Jan 13, 2021 - 4:46pm

You should be fine.  I was in the same boat years ago.  Few things:

  • Get your real estate license
  • Make sure your resume is tight, and "spin" the internships you do have in a positive light.  Use numbers in how you describe what you worked on, and highlight your market research chops.
  • Most importantly, network your ass off.  Look for warm intros to folks at shops you want to work at, reach out to alumni, ask for more introductions to different people at each meeting, and just be a stud at following up and following through.
  • In the interim, read and research as much as you can practice your hard skills.  There are a ton of free resources out there that should you way ahead of most people.

You're scared and nervous and that is understandable, but making a plan and executing on it will get you there.  I promise after, 5-10 informational interviews/coffees, you'll have an interview or three and be on your way.

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Jan 13, 2021 - 4:48pm

Appraisal - lower barriers to entry compared to brokerage, but you get to communicate with these brokers (and their analysts) all day long

A solid year in appraisal provides a good amount of exits opps with brokerage being one. I have also seen former valuation analysts transition to AM on the buyside. Throw in a grad degree and you'll have even more possible exits.

Appraisal is the main one that comes to mind when you say entry level jobs with minimal experience, because that was me when at your age.

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Jan 13, 2021 - 7:40pm

Personally, I was not a trainee, rather an RE Valuation Analyst and just worked under a couple MAI's and other senior guys. I don't think you'll need to join a trainee program to get the knowledge from the job. Unless that's how a certain firm operates then sure, do it for a year then transition out.

But the larger firms like JLL, CBRE, etc will have designated positions called "Valuation & Transaction Advisory Analyst" or something like it. I'd look for those roles since it allows you to converse with clients like I said and also have a large in-house brokerage team that you could internally transfer to after some time. These roles usually are not as competitive as the others but with 2020, I'm not sure but still think it is a viable option for you.

Jan 13, 2021 - 5:14pm

With a econ degree you are qualified (or unqualified lol) as anyone. Just apply for jobs, network, and go for it. I would echo the advice given above (the appraisal route is a good idea for sure). 

I'll add...

1. Don't get too caught up on "big 4" or names or anything like that. A legit shop can be a local "no name", just so long as they do some form of interesting deal. You can move/jump around, more important to get in the game! 

2. Do get some training in modeling, Argus, and other hard skills, can be a game changer

3. Join the local real estate organizations and network there (NAIOP, ULI, ICSC, etc.). I'd call and tell them you are recent grad looking for a job and try and get the student rate (way cheaper). Try and volunteer for events/committees and even leadership roles... killer way to get noticed and help in networking

4. Consider applying for internships, the "post graduation internship" is a real thing, and can lead to a real job. You are a good prospect for this given you don't have tons of experience. Pay sucks (maybe $15 to $20 an hour), but you may be first in line for FT if you prove yourself useful. To note, you need to network and ask for these, applying to those managed by HR (i.e. looking for students) will probably be a waste of time. This happens often, and is a good method to break in (and can work at big name shops sometimes if a MD type likes you wants to have you as an intern).

Good luck!

Jan 13, 2021 - 7:25pm

Yeah I'm in ULI in my area but I guess due to the pandemic they haven't been having many in person events mostly virtual. Also I'm totally with you about doing internships but how would I go by it if I don't see a posting available? Who do I try to network with to get one? Just like random shops near me asking them if they need help or something ?

Jan 14, 2021 - 12:28pm

So I read before on some of the networking threads on here that dierctly asking for an internship could considered rude. You really think it's okay to just ask for one? Like with the first cold email you send to an alum or something? What you described is how I got my current internship, but didn't ask the person outright.

Jan 14, 2021 - 12:56pm

So, to be clear, there can be a rude way to ask for anything, including an internship. But, all sales involve asking for the sale right? Job hunting (or even dating for that matter) is a form of sales. Somewhere in your interactions (and yes, this can be tactfully put into a cold email), you need to say something like "I am seeking an internship" and really no reason not to also add something like "would your firm be in need of an intern". Neither is bad, but if you charge forward like "Hi, please give me an internship, I'm awesome" yeah that may off put some. This is all about meeting needs and and wants. The OP wants an internship, they need to find firms that NEED an intern. This need may be determined when one is offered and standing right in front of them (metaphorically speaking). 

To be very honest, I expect people to ask me about jobs/internships when networking (like when it is a student, recent grad, unemployed person)... I get that is their goal. When we are looking for interns, I encourage them to apply, and if I liked them in the networking interaction, I'll send a note to HR or the employing manager. And we have had people join as intern post-grad and I'm pretty sure they just networked their way in. 

You can go the indirect way "I am looking for a post-grad internship, do you know of anyone in need?". Implicitly, you are asking them but less directly. 

If you do cold in emails on first approach, you may not get tons of responses, but those few that come back are hot prospects. 

Bottom line, never forget that firms NEED and WANT interns also, you are not "bothering" them. A lot of people will actually appreciate the directness, so long as tactful and not arrogant. 

  • Developer in RE - Comm
Jan 13, 2021 - 6:10pm

So my personal experience, I graduated with zero internships (like in general). I fucked around for six months or so and finally bucked up, moved across the country to the market I wanted to live in, and networked my ass off. Uli is an incredible resource (look for their member directory, gives you every members contact info). Ended up getting an internship doing cre loan reporting for ~6months. Flipped that into another internship in nyc at a small developer which led to a full time gig. Long story short, you have to get in front of as many people as possible, and chase down every lead. It may not be your first or second choice, but right now you're just trying to get your foot in the door. 

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