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Internship insights: Real estate undergrads

Real Estate Club members Cort HastingsKevin Kirby and Kenneth Kubitschek to talk about their experiences interning in real estate.

Cort Hastings - UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Cort Hastings (BSBA ’16)

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.

Kevin Kirby - UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Kevin Kirby (BSBA ’16)

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.

Kenneth Kubitschek - UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Kenneth Kubitschek (BSBA ’16)

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.