Where did you complete your summer internships?
Cort: I was a finance and underwriting intern at KBS Realty Advisors in Newport Beach, California. I previously interned with a different firm in the same locale. I’m from California, so it was a good fit.
Kevin: I was in New York City with Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate. I worked as a financial analyst for Wells Fargo the previous summer, so I elected to stretch myself and go live and work in New York to see how it suited me.
Kenneth: After spending the previous summer working on a family friend’s real estate project in Asheville, North Carolina, I wanted to experience a large-scale brokerage office. I decided to intern as a summer analyst with Eastdil Secured in Atlanta.
What type of work did you do during your internship?
Cort: I was involved in the back office underwriting and financing area. I worked on a team and spent a great deal of my time checking facts (due diligence) for the deals we were working on. Essentially, I scrubbed data and read leases for Class A office properties to be sure we had all of our information correctly noted in the deal.
Kevin: I did similar work at Wells Fargo. As a junior analyst, I looked at comparable sales data, mapping properties and working on internal Wells Fargo models.
Kenneth: My job was less structured, which I really enjoyed. It gave me a chance to ask a ton of questions about the deal process. As I grew more confident, I tried to add value to my team by anticipating what they might need and providing that data or information to them. I was able to work on all facets of the sales process, especially as it relates to the creation of the operating memorandum and asset valuation.
What surprised you about your job?
Cort: While at some level I knew these deals were complicated, I was surprised at the amount of time it takes to do due diligence properly for a deal and the huge number of interactions it takes to bring a deal together.
Kevin: For me, the surprise was more about how different the office environment was rather than the job itself. I had interned in the same position with the Charlotte office the summer before so I knew what was expected. In Charlotte, we were a smaller group with time for mentoring. The New York office had a much faster pace and a much larger group of interns, so we didn’t have quite the cohesiveness I experienced in Charlotte.
Kenneth: I was surprised at how willing the team was to let me observe and involve myself in the job. They allowed me to do whatever I could to get the job done – a very freeing feeling. I learned that working fast was not a substitute for providing a correct number or fact. Errors were not acceptable, so we did a ton of checking – and re-checking – our numbers and data. We were very collaborative, and we were encouraged to talk and ask questions.
How did your internship experience impact your career goals?
Cort: Looking back on all of internships, I would like to pursue a position on the front end of an underwriting team. I believe it could be very rewarding, as I would be a part of the purchase decision.
Kevin: Interning in New York helped me better define my ideal job. I loved what I did in Charlotte, and I loved the team and collaborative environment. I will try to find those same qualities with my next firm.
Kenneth: I loved my summer experience, and the feeling must have been mutual. I went to work for Eastdil Secured in Atlanta after I graduate – a perfect outcome.