Fostering the Next Generation of Property Leaders
Entering the workforce can be a daunting experience for university students and new starters trying to navigate their way through the beginnings of a successful career path. Internships can provide the perfect balance between gaining workplace experience and exposure while offering the flexibility necessary to complete studies or attaining a deeper understanding about the different roles within an organisation to aid in career decision making.
There is no such thing as the perfect internship, but you can evaluate which company best aligns with your career goals to maximise your experience and place yourself amongst a talent pool for recruiters to choose from. Investa’s Internship experience for Lise-Lotte Verhoef was truly unique in the way it was designed for her to immerse herself in not just one specialised area, but across different business units to offer a more rounded perspective of the commercial property industry. There are three important questions to ask yourself when considering work experience or an internship:
- What specific experiences will you have during your work experience?
Underpinning the core principle of Ms. Verhoef’s Investa experience were three main pillars of opportunity; to gain experience, to apply knowledge and skills, and for professional growth while interacting with industry experts in their respective fields. Ms. Verhoef highlighted, “Being exposed to all core activities from the start, rather than gradually being fed bits and pieces of information works well for anyone with little experience, yet who are eager to learn”.
Investa’s flat corporate structure encourages the different areas of the business to accommodate and include its team members at all levels including meetings with investors, the board and external partners, as well as strategy days and industry events. The nature of this style offers valuable insight into different leadership styles, group dynamics and the critical role of how company culture can enable team members to thrive. These intangible benefits will accelerate a candidate’s job readiness and help mould a value set that attracts high-level employers in the future.
- Who will your supervisor be?
A supervisor has a huge impact on the overall experience of work experience to steer it in the right direction and provide guidance where and when necessary. With a flexible schedule, Investa allowed Ms. Verhoef to have some input as to how the program is designed. This can result in candidates being managed by a number of leaders across the business and therefore gaining exposure to different styles which has many benefits in shaping an individual’s own way of thinking and working.
The teams and managers within Investa understand that some dedicated time and effort needs to be set aside to nurture a successful internship. A flexible arrangement is the key to getting more out of the program for both parties as Ms. Verhoef explains, “Providing supervisors with the flexibility to adjust the time spent within their department depending on the scope of current projects allows for more mutual benefit”.
- What key skills will you learn from the work experience or internship?
Investa adopts more of a supportive role in that it positions itself to help recipients achieve their goals by providing a platform for the individual to drive their own learnings. It is recommended that candidates come to the table with an idea of where they want to take their career, then together, identify the key development areas for aligned growth. At Investa you will have the opportunity to attend extra meetings, contribute to projects, sit in on a sales pitch or join a ‘lunch & learn’. You get out, what you put in.
In-turn, providing more control to the intern over the direction of the program empowers candidates to “go the extra mile” as Ms. Verhoef describes. Also touching on the challenges and rewards, “The majority of my assigned tasks were sufficiently challenging and with them, came responsibility and expectation, which signalled that I was already a valued member of the team at Investa”.
Ms. Verhoef summarises her time at Investa with some parting advice, “In my opinion, the key to a successful rotation is to ‘put a bow on it’ before moving onto a new area of the business. Examples of this were presenting the carbon offsets project to the executives with the sustainability team, attending the indexed fund half yearly results and rounding out phase 1 of the ‘data deep dive’ project with the innovation team.
Investa offers those at the start of their career, whether through a work experience program or new professional, the opportunity to be part of an inclusive and supportive culture that will encourage holistic learning and development within the commercial property sector. If you would like more about getting involved with Investa, please visit our careers section
, where you can also hear from Jonathan Callaghan, CEO and other leaders about what makes Investa different.