Written by: Ellee Cornett
Ellee Cornett is a student at The Ohio State University studying Business Administration and specializing in Real Estate. She interned with Colliers | Columbus this summer in the property management department. Keep reading to get Ellee’s take on how her internship helped her grow in her career.
Has your internship allowed you to network with other real estate professionals? If so, in what ways?
My internship with the Real Estate Management Services team at Colliers has helped me expand my real estate professional network immensely. I have worked closely in the office with property managers, property coordinators, and accounting associates, as well as project managers and brokers. This experience inspired me to have meaningful conversations with real estate professionals and go out of my way to make my presence known. Not only have I networked within the company, but the internship helped me to network with other real estate professionals outside of Colliers. By shadowing property managers, I was able to meet with asset managers, owners, general contractors, vendors, appraisers, and insurance representatives, as well as other brokers.
What has been your favorite project to work on throughout your time at Colliers?
My favorite project to work on at Colliers would be collecting tenant email addresses so that the accounting department could send rent statements and association fees electronically. I called over eight-hundred tenants and collected over five-hundred email addresses. It helped me to improve my skills of professional speaking and organization, which is so incredibly valuable. I found that task most rewarding because I could see how it was making a difference in the accounting department with fewer monthly statements to physically mail. I also witnessed firsthand how it helped property managers service their owners better by contacting tenants directly to collect rent, rather than relying on mail.
What has been the biggest learning lesson you will take away from this internship?
The biggest lesson I will take away from this internship is to be as curious as possible. The property managers and property coordinators gave me the confidence to ask questions because they are passionate about what they do and really care about fostering the next generation of real estate professionals. Whether it’s asking how to calculate operating expenses for a lease summary or asking someone what their secret is to being successful in their career, don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve learned the importance of taking initiative and asking to shadow property managers when they visit the asset. Let someone else tell you no, instead of talking yourself out of asking the question because you will miss opportunities to learn.