At Berkadia, our success is built upon the talent and hard work of a broad, diversely skilled team. From graphic designers to loan closing specialists to product designers, each of our people brings a unique background, perspective and expertise. Their work allows Berkadia to remain a leader in the commercial real estate industry.
Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Gigi Martin, Intern -Conventional Offices, who sits in the Scottsdale office, to learn more about her role, how she discovered Berkadia and how she has set her mind on CRE for a future career.
Describe your internship at Berkadia, what department you’re in and how you’re liking the program so far.
I’ve spent the summer interning with the mortgage banking team in Berkadia’s Scottsdale office. Reflecting on my internship, I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned about the commercial real estate industry and underwriting process. I feel very fortunate to work with senior employees who go out of their way to answer my questions and explain different components of the business. This has made the internship extremely worthwhile, and I’m excited to continue to build my skills within CRE.
If you’ve had other internships, how does Berkadia’s internship program differ?
Berkadia’s internship program is more structured than the other internships I’ve had in the past. I’ve enjoyed getting to participate in the intern program here, as this has given me the opportunity to interact with the interns in other offices, learn about the different business components, and hear directly from senior management.
What is your major in school and how did you find out about Berkadia?
I’m a rising senior, studying finance with a minor in real estate at Arizona State University and Barrett, the Honors College. I first came across Berkadia via their LinkedIn internship posting. After researching the company more, I noticed that I knew some past interns and current employees. I reached out to these individuals to ask about their experience at Berkadia, and they raved about the company culture, work-life balance, and executive team. This motivated me to pursue the summer internship, and I’m very grateful that I did.
Were you always interested in CRE? If not, how did you get into CRE?
As a finance student, I spent the first half of my college career pursuing investment banking. I was admitted into a competitive investment banking program, served as Co-President of my university’s Investment Banking and Finance Club, and completed Spring and Summer internships as an analyst at a sell-side M&A investment bank in Scottsdale.
During my investment banking internship, I was exposed to hundreds of companies and transactions, and I realized a specific interest in the commercial real estate industry. Therefore, I added real estate as a minor, began talking to professionals in the industry, and ultimately secured an internship at Berkadia to gain professional experience within CRE.
What stood out about Berkadia when you were interviewing for your internship role?
Interviews are inherently stressful. However, what stood out to me as I went through Berkadia’s interview process was how genuine and sociable the interviewers were. Instead of asking generic, rehearsed interview questions (e.g. strengths, weaknesses, etc.), I felt like the interviewers took a more personal approach and were genuinely interested in getting to know me. I think this speaks volumes about Berkadia’s culture and explains why they’re able to attract employees who are both qualified and personable.
What advice would you have for somebody looking to get involved in CRE? How can other students prepare themselves to land an internship at Berkadia?
My advice for somebody looking to get involved in CRE would be to reach out to professionals in the industry. Personally, I think this is the best way to learn about day-to-day operations and company culture. In my experience, most people are more than willing to chat, and these initial conversations can lead to lasting relationships.
For students looking to land an internship at Berkadia, I think it’s important to do your due diligence about the company and industry. For me, this meant talking to Berkadia employees, researching the company online, learning about the different components of the business, and following market trends. Not only does this help in an interview setting, but the process will help reveal if the internship is a good fit for you and your career interests.
What has your internship at Berkadia taught you about your future corporate real estate career or yourself?
My internship at Berkadia has solidified my interest in the commercial real estate industry. All components of Berkadia’s business require a high level of communication between the various parties involved in closing a deal. Therefore, as someone who is very relationship oriented, I’m drawn to the day-to-day operations of a CRE professional and look forward to building a career in this field.