Seeking some career advices

Hi all,

I am an undergraduate student from a non-target school and major in accounting. I interned at the real estate arm of a multi-trillion investment management firm last year. The company's name looks very good on my resume but my internship was essentially a back office role (accounting). I did not like the internship much and found it difficult to move around within the company. I became more interested in research/advisory and went to a small commercial real estate advisory firm this summer. I have about 1.5 year left in school (I am going to be a senior but I can stay in school longer to get 150 credits for accounting). I found commercial real estate pretty interesting after finishing my recent internship and hope to break into this field upon graduation.

My question is that if any of you could give me an overview of career opportunities for college graduates within CRE. So far I know about analyst positions at PE/Investment Management shop (which seem to require solid sell-side experience), real estate investment teams at banks (like JPM, Deutsche), and real estate advisory firms (Colliers, Jones lang lasalle)

Additionally, I understand I do not have a solid front office internship at a BB puts me at a disadvantage The "front office" experience I can use are a student-run management fund, the advisory internship this summer, and an internship at a PE shop (it's a BS internship though).
What do you think I should do to make up this disadvantage of having not real BB front office experience, if I look for full-time and compete with those kids who just finished IBD or ST internships this summer? As I said, I can choose to stay in school longer and possibly apply SA positions for next year. If thats the case, what kind of technical skills (for CRE in particular) do you think I should obtain to get fully prepared? Could you also recommend some publications/books that I can look into?

Sorry for such a long post. Thank you all for your time reading it.

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Comments (4)

Aug 16, 2013 - 7:59pm

Thanks for the shout out, @Asatar!

First things first, @Calzone123, you should check out my "6 Tips For Networking Into Commercial Real Estate"and my "5 Things That Determine Your Success As A Commercial Real Estate Broker". Nothing like shameless self-promotion, right?

Well, for real though, they will give you some tips on networking into the industry in what in arguably the easiest sector of the industry to network into: brokerage firms. We're talking CBRE, Colliers International, Jones Lang LaSalle, HFF, Cushman & Wakefield, and Eastdil Secured for some big names. Don't be afraid though - unless you're applying for the LA, SF, NYC, or similar monster office, they're surprisingly easy to break into, and even the big offices can be cracked. This isn't banking or consulting where you need to go to Harvard to even get an interview. Commercial Real Estate, at this level, is much more about passion, personality, and energy.

Beyond that it gets a little more expansive. There is REIB, which you mentioned, that either takes the aforementioned banking pedigree/experience, there is REPE, which also either takes some pedigree or an advanced degree (MBA, MSRE, MSRED, MSF), and there are REITs, which are similar to REPE but are publicly traded trusts.

Other options include financing groups such as Ackman-Ziff or Singer Bassuk that typically require an advanced degree and some experience or developers, which come in all shapes and sizes.

To really help you out, I'd need to know a bit more about your background, year in school, type of school, and interests. Technical skills you will eventually need? Excel modeling, Argus modeling, hah and a good personality. You can work on all three. You'll also need a real estate license, but you have to get it in the state where you work.

As far as books go: and are the books that I immediately recommend to everyone.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

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