On February 24th, NAIOP Massachusetts hosted a career panel where dynamic young professionals from the Developing Leaders program offered helpful advice on how to jumpstart or further a career in Commercial Real Estate. Speakers included Molly Davis, Associate Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; Katie Grimes, Business Development Associate at Red Thread; Chris LaFrance, Associate Director of Acquisitions at Intercontinental Real Estate Corp.; Tucker McCrabb, Research Analyst at AEW Capital Management; Jennifer Price, Assistant Vice President at Colliers International; and Sarah Weatherbee Walker, Senior Director at Keller Augusta Partners, who moderated the program.
At the event, Keller Augusta Partners shared these tips below for college students who are interested in a career in Commercial Real Estate.
The Commercial Real Estate industry is very competitive. Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate experience and interest in the CRE field early and often. Here are some helpful ways to break into the industry:
- Be sure to do exceptionally well in real estate classes (impress your professors!) and maintain high GPA
- Highlight significant projects or case work from your courses on your resume
- Full time summer positions
- Part-time /semester opportunities
- Contract work
- Industry Professional Organizations
- Seek out a student membership or student rate for attending events
- Join committees to make more meaningful connections, don’t just attend events
- Leadership Roles within On-Campus Organizations
- The event planning process is a great reason to reach out to industry professionals
- This becomes an excellent resume talking point
- If your school doesn’t have a group, create one!
- Utilize your Alumni, Personal & Professional network to build up your industry contacts
- Be specific about your job search & career objectives during networking/outreach conversations
- People want to help but being vague puts more work on them
- Create your 2-minute elevator speech and practice it!
- Academic performance (GPA/Test Scores) is highly regarded at top firms
- Strong emphasis on quantitative skills across many positions
Below are some additional resources available from NAIOP Massachusetts.
Student Association Membership (SAM) program
Open to any full-time student who is not otherwise employed in the industrial, office, multifamily, mixed-use or related commercial real estate industry. Must present a valid school ID and current full-time schedule.
Benefits include: free admission to networking events and educational programs, opportunities to meet industry leaders and decision makers, access to NAIOP’s national database, special Student Association Membership (SAM) Career Dinners and informational interviews.
Available to colleges and universities offering undergraduate programs in real estate and includes up to 25 student memberships.
NAIOP Massachusetts Job Board
Includes full-time jobs and internships. Open to all, NAIOP Members can post jobs for free.