My property career began reading Real Estate Bsc at Westminster University immediately after completing A Levels. I knew little about the industry when starting my degree however I undertook a diverse range of property work experience with FTSE 100 occupiers, a UK REIT and Knight Frank to provide development, asset management and agency experience across Offices, Retail and Hotels. This work experience was the first step in understanding which area of property and which type of firm I would like to work for.
After completing the Knight Frank Summer Internship in my penultimate year it instantly became my first choice of employer. As a result I applied to join the Graduate Scheme and attended the various rounds of interviews. I stress although labeled as interviews/assessment days these are an applicant’s best opportunity to ensure the company they are applying to matches their needs and expectations. In my case the interviews provided a tour of the global Headquarters, the opportunity to meet various partners as well as graduates who all provided honest impartial advice.
I was subsequently offered a position on the Commercial Graduate Scheme and offered the opportunity to start Mid-summer allowing me to hit the ground running after finishing my degree. The Knight Frank Commercial Graduate Scheme involves completing four, six month long rotations in a range of departments. The rotations are typically varied allowing graduates to spend time in Landlord & Tenant, Valuation, Agency and Capital Markets teams. The scheme provides excellent exposure to various aspects of property including the opportunity to work abroad and complete a secondment at another property company. Last but not least one of the best aspects of the Graduate Scheme is the other graduates. Knight Frank has a great cohort of fellow graduates which provide a great atmosphere within the company. The graduates at Knight Frank are well supported with Sports Teams and weekends away and trekking Kilimanjaro for charity, providing ideal bonding opportunities.
Typical roles and responsibilities for graduates vary from department to department however throughout the two years you are guaranteed to use a mixture of technical, creative and social skills. The creative side of the job has involved me assisting in the drafting of marketing materials and liaising with designers to create brochures and websites to assist with the sale of buildings. The technical side can include the analysis of lease and legal documents and running numbers for appraisals. Lastly, the social element involves assisting with inspections of properties for potential buyers as well as networking with fellow agents.
During my time at Knight Frank a mixture of the above skills has allowed me to assist with consultancy on a mega-shed on behalf of one of the largest UK Online clothing retailers, this involved inspection of the warehouse as well as a detailed report in order to advise the client on the upcoming lease event. During my current seat I have assisted with the marketing and preparation of a trophy City of London office building for sale, this involved drafting part of the brochure, gathering comparable recent sales and recent lettings within the area. The two examples above highlight one of the benefits of working for Knight Frank- their excellent position within the key markets which provides Graduates with the opportunity to get involved in work on trophy assets and schemes.
Overall, I enjoy the variety the job provides, a great mix of technical, social and creative challenges. My decision to join Knight Frank was as a result of their partnership structure which is somewhat unique, allowing Knight Frank to have a global presence whilst remaining personable and service orientated. This did not disappoint as is epitomised by the frequency of meeting and talking to the senior management, a high proportion of which began at Knight Frank on the very Graduate Scheme you are contemplating now!