INTERN INSIGHTS: GRACE DONALDSON
Written by: Grace Donaldson
Grace Donaldson is a student at The Ohio State University studying Finance with a Minor in Real Estate. She is currently interning with Colliers | Columbus on Andy Jameson’s team. Keep reading to get Grace’s take on how her internship has helped her grow in her career.
What has been your favorite project to work on throughout your time at Colliers?
My favorite project to work on throughout my time at Colliers has been cross-referencing Andy’s 2021 available property listings and vacancies with his new available property listings and vacancies. This project consisted of using our brochures, stacking plans, Apto and VTS to ensure that all of Andy’s listings were as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Throughout the quarter, he leased out many spaces so all of those spaces had to be removed and all of the spaces with expired/expiring leases were added. I really enjoyed this project because it allowed me to become more knowledgeable about all the listings that Andy is on and more familiar with what we are able to show a client.
What has been the biggest learning lesson you will take away from this internship?
The biggest learning lesson that I will take away from this internship is that the best way to learn is through first-hand experience. Colliers does a great job at making sure every intern is challenged so we can get the utmost benefit out of our semester in the office, and they are also a guiding-hand along the way offering a vast amount of knowledge and advice. During my very first week, my team took me on a few showings with big clients. It is very hard to teach in a classroom what to do and say during a showing, and I feel now that the best way to learn how to put on a good showing is to shadow brokers are see how they show properties and answer client's questions during them. After the showings, they drove me around to all of the nearby properties we represent so I could see them first-hand and understand which properties I am working with when inputting data. My team wants be to be as comfortable and acquainted with all of our projects as I can be. Colliers also offers many classes taught by our esteemed colleagues that are designed to make the younger professionals in the office as educated as possible in this field. My favorite class to attend is called Next Generation, which is a class meant for young brokers in the office to teach them about all the do's and don’ts of commercial real estate and provide a space for young brokers to bounce ideas off of each other. The biggest lesson I have taken away from my time at Colliers is that the most valuable knowledge to gain is from first-hand experience, and I have greatly appreciated all of the resources Colliers has provided me in this aspect.
What aspects of commercial real estate has this internship made your more interested in?
This internship has made me significantly more interested in the office sector of commercial real estate. Last summer, I worked primarily in industrial and flex, and this internship has made me grow to love the fast-paced life of working with office space. Tenant leases are usually significantly shorter for office spaces than for industrial spaces, so the turnover time for leases is a lot quicker which means you always have to be on your toes and ready to put a new client into a space when the past client's lease expires.