Help me transition from middle office operations at a bulge bracket into a RE role

bernie madoff's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 166

hi all, long time member but very occasional poster. so i am definitely in the minority here in that i didn't go to an excellent school, don't have incredible internship/work experience and i am just generally not up to snuff as it relates to most of you.

right now i work in middle office operations "trade management" at a large broker dealer (one of the big guys). it is MIND NUMBINGLY boring and as i have always been interested in the real estate world, i am looking to make a move. some very, very basic steps i've taken is to acquire a few books to familiarize myself with the terminology and basics ( Real Estate Finance & Investments by Linneman & The Real Estate Game by Poorvu) as well as just brushing up on my Excel skills and watching Argus tutorials. obviously bare bones stuff, but i'm trying here.

anyway, i guess my question is where the hell can i even begin/what should i target? i'd like to go onto an acquisitions OR Asset Management team but i'm sure both are somewhat long shots. additionally, if anyone can explain some of the different roles that i might want to keep an eye out for, i'd be much appreciative. i am not above doing any kind of work to get the experience and i am definitely eager to make a career change (i am 28).

thanks in advance, i really hope to get some insight/advice/pointed in the right direction.

Comments (4)

Jul 17, 2015

Bernie - you're at Morgan Stanley? Is this an East Coast location?

Fortunately for you, Real Estate is far less focused on academic prestige. What you need to do is begin to network. Pick a region or city and talk to as many people as possible. Ask for referrals...ask for ways to position yourself for an interview. If you're really feeling bold, offer to work in a paid/unpaid internship capacity with the opportunity to convert to full-time if all goes well. There are a ton of different ways to break into the industry and I'll provide some worthwhile roles to pursue

Investment Sales
Landlord/Tenant Brokerage
Asset Management
Acquisitions
Capital Markets - Debt/Equity Placement

Jul 18, 2015
The Duke of Wall Street:

Bernie - you're at Morgan Stanley? Is this an East Coast location?

Fortunately for you, Real Estate is far less focused on academic prestige. What you need to do is begin to network. Pick a region or city and talk to as many people as possible. Ask for referrals...ask for ways to position yourself for an interview. If you're really feeling bold, offer to work in a paid/unpaid internship capacity with the opportunity to convert to full-time if all goes well. There are a ton of different ways to break into the industry and I'll provide some worthwhile roles to pursue

Investment Sales
Landlord/Tenant BrokerageAsset Management
Acquisitions
Capital Markets - Debt/Equity Placement

thank you. yes i am at MS based in NYC it is very tough to network internally believe it or not. but i have been doing so externally.

i should mention i was offered a role with Starbucks on their corporate real estate team that i turned down for a few reasons (bad move?) and have an interview coming up with Brixmor - is anyone familiar with them?

also acquisitions stands out among all of those. i have almost no interest in a fully sales focused (brokerage) role.

Jul 17, 2015

Spend the $200 or whatever it is and join the Urban Land Institute. Once in, use the member database to look up the contact information for every major developer or REPE principal in your city. Email them saying you are a ULI member and want to work for them.

Is all of this a long shot? You bet, but I did it multiple times and it works.

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Jul 18, 2015
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