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Ross Jacobson

BBA Internship Recap: Learning the Value of Real-World Experiences

by Ross Jacobson Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A tradition that had previously been reserved for full-time MBAs at the University of Wisconsin is now making its way down to the undergraduate level.  On Tuesday, October 17, six undergraduate real estate students presented on their summer internships in front of their peers. Each of them gave overviews of the company with which they interned, discussed their roles and responsibilities, and offered advice on how those in the audience could land internships in the future.

All of the students felt they were a valuable contributor during their internship and many liked the independence they were afforded with projects and assignments.

“I was doing real world stuff. They gave me something and they said ‘If you have any questions then come ask us, but we’re not going to show you how to do everything,’” said Matt Skonieczny, who interned at T. Wall Enterprises in Madison. “I had to figure stuff out on my own.”

Much of that responsibility came from how prepared the interns felt going into the summer after taking the real estate-focused courses offered at UW.

“My manager at BMO told me right away that when I arrived, I was able to hop in and I knew everything right away as far as real estate pro forma,” said Bobby Zanotti, who interned at BMO Harris Bank in Milwaukee. “The readiness factor that the UW real estate program offers is huge for an internship and job interview.”

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DeClarkeAlyssa DeClarke and Jacob Emery. Northwestern Mutual. Real Estate Investment Analyst Interns. Milwaukee, WI

What were your main responsibilities during your internship?
To start off the internship you begin with an initial project. Both of us really liked it. They give you a property that they already have a loan on. You’re reading the whole investment package, doing the financial modeling, researching the market, looking at market demographics, making maps and putting together a big presentation. … After the project, you act as an analyst and are doing a lot of the work that actual analysts are doing as well.

EmeryWhat was the most important thing you gained from your experience?
I had real-world experiences. A lot of the initial underwriting process and what you really want to look for in a market for deals. I got exposure to every different property type.

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ZanottiBobby Zanotti, BMO Harris Bank, Commercial Rest Estate Intern. Milwaukee, WI

What were your main responsibilities during your internship?
Prescreen calls which was basically when we presented the deals to credit to get credit approval. Portfolio management team meetings to go over all of our underwriting metrics. You were working on underwriting models, writing memos, spreading financial statements and our risk analysis software.

What was the most important thing you gained from your experience?
Real estate banking and underwriting. BMO is a fairly significant player in the commercial real estate space. A lot of underwriting, a lot of Excel … I learned how deals were structured, working with developers and seeing what financing they need. Learning the construction process and how the bank underwrites construction loans and acquisitions.

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AndersonAnastacia Anderson, Tenant Rep Intern, JLL. Chicago, IL

What were your main responsibilities during your internship?
No day is really ever the same. I spent half my time at my desk, but otherwise I was out in the field touring different buildings, staffing buildings.  I also went on different pitches, hearing how they were talking to their different clients.

What was the most important thing you gained from your experience?
I learned how to communicate with a lot of different people and find obscure information. You had to do a lot of fieldwork, but it’s not necessarily provided for you so it really helps you with your research skills.

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SkoniecznyMatt Skonieczny, Development Intern, T. Wall Enterprises. Madison, WI

What were your main responsibilities during your internship?
I learned a lot about proforma analysis. Another thing I did was due diligence. The owner of the company would give me properties they were considering buying. I’d basically have to take things from past projects and really bring everything together. Every day I was doing something different and I really enjoyed that.

What was the most important thing you gained from your experience?
The development process is very complicated and it was interesting to finally see that in some properties we were working on. There are all these people involved. It was really cool to go to a city council meeting and the coordination with tons of different people from my manager.

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WegenerJackson Wegener, Wealth Management Intern, Morgan Stanley. San Francisco, CA

What were your main responsibilities during your internship?
I was in charge of updating my boss’ clients’ accounts. I would read their client statements and look at all the holdings they had. I compared what the last month in market value was to what it was prior to that. They would come in and have regular meetings with my boss and they want to see how my boss is doing in wealth management with their money.

What was the most important thing you gained from your experience?
I learned a lot about the markets and a lot about investing in general. You learn a lot about key investing principles. I analyzed and compared performance on select investment opportunities.