Infrastructure to developer

thepyrocart's picture
Rank: Chimp | 6

I have 2 years of experience in one of the largest construction company in the world. I have spent the past two years doing project finance in regards to huge multi-billion dollar infrastructure which will be used ubiquitously throughout the country by everyone. I am 24 years old, with a somewhat large real estate portfolio (has not been paid off yet of course) and I aspire to become a developer in the near future. I have been all over the forum but I could not find anyone with similar background. Could someone shed some light on how I can leverage this opportunity and my current real estate investments into furthering myself towards becoming a developer?

My plan is to spend another 3 years learning and network as much as I can before I jump out and try my luck.
However, I do not know what I can do with this experience and how I can make the most of it. Should I work for a developer or should I stick to working in the field of infrastructure.

Comments (5)

Jan 20, 2019

Hi thepyrocart, whoops, looks like nobody chimed in here.... maybe one of these discussions below is relevant:

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  • More suggestions...

Fingers crossed that one of those helps you.

Jan 26, 2019

Why don't you provide a little more color on your background. Education? When you say project finance, are you talking about billing/requisitions? Accounting? Cost control? Estimating and presenting budgets alongside a project executive? What size projects? What type? Client facing?

Generally speaking, infrastructure is cool because it gives you exposure to massive project budgets and an interesting group of clients at the municipal, state, and federal levels. You can leverage some transferable skills to jump to development, for sure. However, infrastructure is a totally different universe from, say, multifamily apartments. You'll be amazed at how much simpler infrastructure is from a finance/reporting perspective, but how much more complex apartments are from a design/code/construction/compliance perspective.

    • 1
Jan 27, 2019

I am a finance major from an ivy league and I chose not to do Investment banking due to my interest in Real estate. When I graduated, i was hellbent on becoming a developer one day and my dream has never faded. In my current role, I am essentially forecasting and presenting budgets alongside project executive. The project is around 10-20 billion dollars based around future transportation networks which will be used by everyone living within the vicinity of it.
I do not see many clients but I sometimes accompany the project executives to some external meetings to gauge an insight into what it is like to meet clients. However, I do find it very comfortable already.

i always thought infrastructure was similar to that of development in terms of the financial scope.

With these information, would it be possible if you could shed more light into what I could do to enter the development world?

Many thanks

Most Helpful
Jan 27, 2019

It's similar insofar as the project steps are similar (vision, team building, design, entitlement, financing, construction, operations, etc), but the products are very, very different so you'll spend the first few years learning how to develop your product type(s). If you learned how to create and manage a budget, then that will be useful, but infrastructure projects are financed in different ways from, say, private commercial or resi projects. In development, finance is the easy part. Building relationships, minimizing risk, and finishing on time/under budget are the hard parts.

In your current role, I would recommend that you share your goals with your supervisor and ask to be more involved in high-level activities like stakeholder communication and meetings, budget and reporting, and so on.

Gearing up for your next role, you should get involved in ULI if you're not already, and you should start networking with developers whom you admire. Start spending time with developers and learning how they see the world and their work.

    • 2
May 21, 2019