No Real Estate Internship Experience. Should I delay graduation to get some?

Hi all,

Currently trying to recruit FT for Commercial Real Estate positions, but I had no success (basically heard nothing back). 

Some details about my background

1. non-target school

2. strong GPA

3. S&T internship at Bulge Bracket

4. Commercial banking internship 

5. Solid ECs, but nothing RE related (my school doesn't have an RE club) 

With this in mind, I am wondering if I should delay graduation and recruit for Summer 2022 RE positions and then graduate in December 2022. 

Any advice is appreciated. Feel free to be blunt. 

Comments (14)

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jan 10, 2022 - 10:36pm

How sure are you that you want a career in CRE? If you are very sure, then I'd say a one semester delay is nothing in the grand scheme of things and would be helpful. You would be able to get a resume on your internship and line yourself up better for FT recruiting. More importantly, you'll get some true RE experience and better understand the industry and the different sectors (acquisitions, development, lending, etc). This will give you more info and allow you to be more strategic in deciding which sector you want to be in. I really don't like when people here say "just get your foot in the door and figure it out from there." I'm of the opinion that you should take a little more time and TRY to start off in the right place that will accelerate your career and serve as an effective springboard.

Jan 11, 2022 - 9:39am

You're going to get mixed opinions on this - you could delay a semester and get the RE experience, but then you have to hope hiring managers buy that that was the reason you graduated late.

In my opinion, you already have bank experience between both lending and S&T - recruit for a real estate lending or REIB team, put in a year or two there then look to transition.

Jan 11, 2022 - 1:46pm

Thank you for the input, I was under the assumption I already have banking experience in lending/S&T to recruit for RE lending, but had lackluster results due to no RE experience, which is why I'm resorting to delaying graduation. 

Most Helpful
Jan 11, 2022 - 2:40pm

To note, there is a trend of people doing post-graduation internships, meaning you go ahead and graduate, but still apply/accept an internship. This way, you can fully end schooling (its expense and time drain), be fully available for FT work (incld FT internship), but still pursue intern level experience (if you cannot land regular FT). Lots of people do this. We have had a few people do this at my firm, and a subset of those actually got regular/FT jobs as end result (that should be goal after all). 

Side note, I don't think any employer would care/ask why you extended graduation, this is regular/normal I really don't anyone would notice. Personally, I'd just finish and keep applying, but if you do delay, no harm (beyond expense and time lol). If there are classes you could take that would help you, or you just want to take, or could add minor/certificate (if an option), then consider, but I wouldn't just to extend a recruiting window. 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jan 11, 2022 - 4:31pm

I did this exact thing. Delayed graduation, got a sick internship, converted it to a full time offer which I didn't even end up taking and leveraged it to get to a different firm. No one has ever asked me about delayed graduation or anything like that, no one cares. Just make sure IF you delay, that you're actually getting an internship that can be converted to full time. And if you get the internship you need to bust your ass and make great impressions or else you're wasting your time. A lot of places require you to be an undergrad in order to get an internship so not sure if the other advice on here would help you as much.

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Jan 12, 2022 - 12:53pm

Don't worry about graduating in December - I did the same when I was your age. No one ever asked about it because it's not a huge deal, people graduate in the winter all the time. 

I would have to guess some sort of smaller/boutique RE shop would let you parlay your current experience to a FT role. But if that does not happen, I agree with other posters in that you should target an internship and try to convert that full time. All the while continually applying to other FT roles (with your internship included on resume) where you can show true RE experience. 

Also keep in mind the market is still very hot and there are a lot of analysts/associates lateraling (it's bonus season). Don't worry about nothing landing right now, keep pounding the pavement and you will see the results. 

Jan 12, 2022 - 8:17pm

Have you tried applying to internship even if you are graduating this is how some firms test candidates or justify a need internally

This is how I did when I hired my latest analyst

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Jan 13, 2022 - 8:49pm

Graduating in December helped me I think. Firms were hiring like crazy and had less graduates to choose from because they wanted either an immediate or a January hire. 

Jan 13, 2022 - 10:03pm

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