Summer Internship - Am I Making the Wrong Decision?

I say the following hoping to get in to development/REPE a few years out of school.

Just got offered an internship at a BB in their Commercial Banking group, specifically CRE lending.  This BB does most of the construction/development financing in my city.  Further, the position leads to a FT role that pays ~$80k, which believe it or not is ridiculous for someone right out of UG where I'm from (most start between $55-65k, even at top shops), despite the fact that the role is definitely not the most prestigious.

My hesitation is because graduates are put through a 18-month rotation upon graduation where only 6 months is spent in real estate, and the other 12 spent in groups that have no relation whatsoever to CRE.  I'm not keen at all at the idea of spending the first year and a half after graduation somewhere other than real estate and I also assume most companies would not count this time as real estate experience should I ever decide to leave.  I'm also in a co-op program where recruiting really picks up in January for the summer term (S2021) so I'd like to be able to recruit then, which I won't be able to if I accept this offer.  There are usually some pretty interesting family offices/private firms that offer great positions then, in addition to the large firms which have a ton of positions open then as well.

If it is not obvious from the above, I am leaning towards turning down the offer.  I have until end of day Wednesday to call back and let them know.  Based on the above, what would your decision be?  All input is appreciated. 

Comments (2)

 
Oct 26, 2020 - 3:46pm

So, a few thoughts...

1. You are just deciding on a summer internship at this point. They are not promising you a job after graduation and you are under zero obligation to take it. I think you are overweighting this as a major life decision, it's not that big.

2. Interning with a big name firm has advantages in FT recruiting, can really up the odds your resume gets pulled and you draw an interview. Nothing wrong with interesting family/private firms, but again for an internship, the name has tons of value (i.e. nobody really buys summer internship exp that much anyway). 

3. You would be turning downing a sure thing (that sounds pretty good) for the chance to hit the market. This is always a risky strategy, and one you could easily regret. Not sure about your market, but COVID is cancelling a lot of internships and messing with the market all around. I am hesitant to suggest you turn this down on that fact alone.

4. The career path post-grad you reference is a very good one, people tend to get "poached" from those rotational training programs all the time. Fewer banks are doing them as a result. It's hard to get into big league institutional real estate straight out of UG as many prefer to hire with experience, and banking experience is good. You could work there for 3 to 5 years, go get an MBA or MSRE/D and be a very strong prospect for institutional real estate and development. You should look at past "exits" of people in that program. 

5. Not sure if this would be feasible, but you could pursue the smaller type firms for a spring or fall internship, they tend to be less rigid. If your school is not located near the jobs, could be an issue, but I'm guessing COVID will keep the option of remote learning well into Fall 2021. 

So to sum it up, I am leaning in favor of you doing this internship, especially since you would be giving up a sure thing for a hope note. I think it has good long-term value. You can decide way later if you want the FT if they actually offer it, but that shouldn't factor the decision know. And frankly, having that option is a great thing, don't underestimate the value, many would love a job like that. 

 
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  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Oct 26, 2020 - 10:42pm
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