Project & Development Services at JLL Exits Opps

As someone in undergrad studying construction management, I was wondering how easy it would be to transition to the development side of cre if I were to work for somewhere like JLL Project & Development Service group rather than working for a large GC. To my understanding, they do fee development in addition to project management so I was wondering if it would be possible to transition to the development side from there without getting a graduate degree.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Comments (9)

Most Helpful
Sep 6, 2019

Yeah, it can be done. I did it. JLL can be great, but it's a big organization and takes a while to fully understand (years). Depending on the market, you're not going to see a lot of actual development so don't think you're going to come in there getting the exact experience you're looking for asap, you'll have to put in some time. You're going to be working on a lot of TIs, or on an account, being the 3rd party outsourced PM for one particular company where there may be no ground up work. Research your market and best of luck.

    • 4
Sep 6, 2019

I would say go to an ENR Top 100 firm for either GC or CM. Both skills are useful. I would personally rather be on the CM side. Had I known more from the beginning, I would've gone CM instead of GC

    • 2
Sep 6, 2019

What are the advantages of working at an ENR 100 GC vs project and development management at a JLL or CBRE?

Sep 6, 2019

I don't see a lot of CM firms hiring out of college though, it definitely seems like a move for at least 2-3 years of exp. You really have no ability to CM a job out of school and don't add value. CM's don't have enough administrative junk on large projects to warrant entry level paper pushers like GC's do.

Sep 6, 2019

I guess also just throw it in the argument would working for the in-house GC at a developer be better than working at an ENR 100 firm when it comes to gaining leverage to transition to development?

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Sep 6, 2019

If you work at a firm with an in-house GC, it doesn't necessarily translate to working on the developer's jobs. If you're to go this route and you really want to work more intimately with the developers, you have to figure out what the bread and butter of the company is. For instance, Clark and Gilbane are two huge GC's with development arms, however you're much more likely to be working on a job that not in house to each one. Somewhere like Wood Partners that is more of a development heavy shop would work primarily on internal developments.

Realistically, you'll have the same general conversations whether you work for an in-house or out-of-house job. I've done both, I don't see significant value in working for an in-house GC vs. an out-of-house. To add on my CM note from above as well, you won't get ground-up experience as a junior-level CM, there's really just too much of a lack of knowledge from that perspective. You'll lose technical expertise by going that route, but you'll gain more process heavy understanding. I think each has value, but it's definitely a slower roll from a process perspective on the GC/C&S construction side.

    • 4
Sep 6, 2019

IMO, I would go the GC route. The value in working for a GC would be having a solid background in the technical side of building, which is a valued skill. I do not have any experience on the PDS side. However, I think the project management aspect of development/construction is somewhat intuitive. So that could definitely be honed in on down the road.

In regards to working for in-house GC. I don't think it would make things necessarily easier to transition to development. Unless your goal was to specifically work for the development side of that company. However, I do think it would be beneficial being able to interact with guys on the development side frequently (which you would at some point). I work for a developer that has GC in house, and the construction guys seem to be much more knowledgeable about real estate/dev concepts than at the GC I worked for.

If you were to work for a GC, I would say that while the technical side is important, try to also absorb the bigger picture ideas and processes. Knowing everything about a set of steel shops is less important than knowing how and why your company prices things, selects projects/markets to pursue, etc... ask a lot of questions that someone in your entry position "shouldn't care about." If that makes sense.

    • 1
Sep 6, 2019
grooter:

If you were to work for a GC, I would say that while the technical side is important, try to also absorb the bigger picture ideas and processes. Knowing everything about a set of steel shops is less important than knowing how and why your company prices things, selects projects/markets to pursue, etc... ask a lot of questions that someone in your entry position "shouldn't care about." If that makes sense.

I think this cannot be overstated. Don't be afraid to ask questions and look over budgets and learn more about the higher level management side. Walk the jobsites with your supers and you'll learn a ton about VE (value engineering) and scheduling. Sit in the office with your Project Executive/ VP and you'll learn a lot about budgeting, shared cost savings, and chasing jobs. Bonus if you can do tedious work that others want to avoid that deal with some less intuitive things- ie. ensuring all the signatures, dates, and exhibits are correct on the prime contract. Do your job and then read the contract through and through and ask questions. A good PM/ PX/ VP will happily answer your questions and appreciate your initiative.

Edit: My comments were meant to be directed to the OP, seems like you know your stuff. I just wanted to emphasize that specific quote.

    • 2
Sep 6, 2019
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