Student Perspective: Internship at Deloitte Real Estate

Read this story by Gerald Lee on his internship experience at Deloitte Real Estate.

Introduce yourself - Which course are you on? What year?

I am Gerald Lee, a final year UPDM student. I studied abroad at the University of Pennsylvania and I am interested in real estate finance, data analytics and urban policy. I also actively volunteer at a homeless shelter and am inviting anyone to join me!

Work Experience

This year I spent my summer as an intern at Deloitte Real Estate in London. Deloitte Real Estate’s tag line is “where business meets real estate” and I think it succinctly captures the essence of what the real estate team engages with. It is a medium-sized team, which is very client-centric and fast-paced. From day one of the summer vacation scheme, I was trusted with real work and was treated the same as every other employee. Every member of the Deloitte team had a strong sense of professionalism, intelligence and genuineness. At the firm, you are also encouraged to meet with any and every employee, including the partners. There is a hot desking system in the office and many social activities to provide you with opportunities to learn from the diverse and highly-capable team.

At Deloitte, no two days are the same. The company offers a wide array of services to its clients from financial advisory to planning and consulting. Even within the planning and development team, I was given a wide array of tasks, such as discharging planning applications, conducting market research and performing data analysis for public consultation projects. The summer vacation scheme was also a great learning opportunity because it had a scheduled team project for all of the interns from various departments. We got to work with one another and learn about the business lines of the real estate team. Everyone offered something interesting and valuable to the discussion table. The multifarious opportunities at Deloitte kept me engaged and constantly learning. Overall, the firm’s breadth and depth in the real estate sector, and beyond, was truly a highlight of my experience.

Application Process

I must contend that the application process is not the easiest. It took a few months from start to finish. You can typically find the online application form in mid-October on the career’s website, where you submit a CV and some personal details. This is followed by an immersive online assessment, which includes an on-the-job simulation, a quantitative and logical-reasoning component. I only heard back from Human Resources in April, where I had to do a live video interview. After the video interview, there was a final assessment interview with someone from the team. I was only informed of the final outcome in May.

While it may seem daunting and long-drawn, I definitely recommend applying for the SVS if you are really interested in Deloitte and the work that the firm does. The experience working there has been completely worthwhile and the student recruitment team is very responsive and helpful throughout the process. They even have preparatory phone calls to guide you for the interviews. If you have any questions regarding the process feel free to reach out to me or the student recruitment team. I also strongly encourage attending the networking events to build connections with Deloitte Employees.

"The experience working there has been completely worthwhile and the student recruitment team is very responsive and helpful throughout the process"

How much has your current university education prepared you for your recent work/internship? Have any modules stood out as preparation for professional work?

The Bartlett program understandably cannot adequately prepare you for life in the corporate world. However, there are valuable skills like team work, time management and the various design and GIS skills, which are highly portable to the work place. You learn about section 106 or planning applications in the classroom but it is very different from drafting a real planning application for a client. Nevertheless, despite the learning curve, there is always a strong network of students and teachers, lecture notes or the handy google search engine to turn to for help.

Has your work-experience enhanced or changed your view of where your career aspirations lie?

I believe it has given me rich experiences and fresh perspectives to think about how I would like to improve myself and contribute to society.

Connect with Gerald on LinkedIn and ask him any other questions you have in mind.