In 2021 CBRE Investment Management (CBRE IM) entered into a partnership for the first time with ELBA Eagles as part of their commitment to increasing social mobility within the real estate industry.
The programme has already proved to be a huge success, with all 3 interns on the programme now in permanent roles at CBRE IM.
Ronald Visser, Head of People EMEA, CBRE IM, was a driving force of the programme, and said of it:
“Having worked with ELBA/Eagles before, I was confident that offering these internships would make a real impact. It provides a career boosting opportunity for young talent from diverse backgrounds and with this program DE&I does not only get on the agenda; it becomes real and tangible which is the part I like the most. A big thank you to all those involved, especially for onboarding the interns during Covid times. Let’s continue the program and make it even bigger!”
The three interns that CBRE IM hired are: Nadiya Afuz, working in UK Separate Accounts during her internship and then moving into the European Logistics Fund team for her permanent role, Mehrab Rahman, working in UK Separate Accounts, and Harkirat Devgun working in Indirect Strategies. All three are graduates of Queen Mary, University of London.
We are really grateful that Nadiya, Mehrab and Harkirat have all written about their experiences of the programme, including how they heard about the programme and what made them apply, how they found the training and induction process, and how they’ve found their time at CBRE IM so far. These stories are engaging and inspiring, not to mention useful for future London graduates considering applying for this programme.
“I have now been working with UK Separate Accounts Team for over five months and have truly enjoyed every moment. Through my experiences with this team, I have been able to understand the lifecycle of an asset, specifically, how we go from underwriting an acquisition, to managing the asset on a day-to-day basis, and then preparing for a disposal… I’ve been able to contribute to each stage, allowing me to develop my analytical and presentation skills, as well as further expand my commercial real estate knowledge.”
“So much has happened over the previous 5 months that a few paragraphs could never do it justice! … The type of work I’m doing has been integral in my decision to stay on with CBRE IM and Affordable Housing Fund as I believe we’re truly helping those in need of support and the fund in making huge strides in addressing the lack of affordable housing in the UK…”
Harkirat wrote about his experience:
“To think that we’re almost at the end of our official 6-month internship feels somewhat surreal. The time has flown by so quickly, but I can truly say that I’ve learnt so much throughout my experience so far… To have been amongst the first group of ELBA Eagles interns which CBRE IM have hosted has been a great privilege, and I’m sure that I speak for all of the other interns in saying that the firm has been truly accommodating – to ensure that we’ve been able to have as enriching an experience as possible. Going forward I’m excited to continue within my current role as a full time employee, and in time, support the next group of interns.”
Taking the Eagles interns onboard, and being able to offer them all full-time positions within the company, requires the support and buy-in of the whole company. In addition to a manager, each Eagle is given a mentor and a buddy. Nadiya describes how this has helped her develop her career:
“I am extremely grateful for my buddy, Claudia Leighton, who throughout my time with this team has thoroughly explained everything I need to know and remained patient – despite all my questions! … Early on in my internship I was assigned a mentor, Sabina Reeves, who has been incredible! Sabina has provided me with a lot of insight and advice, as well as connected me to a range of people from across different offices and teams…”
And Mehrab writing:
“I’d like to thank the AHF team for being supportive and great to work with, along with everyone involved in the inception of the internship programme and everyone who has played a part in making this an incredible experience.”
The testimonials of CBRE IM Managers shows the true value of the programme, both for the interns and employees of CBRE, as well as for CBRE as a company. Dugal Hunt wrote:
“The ELBA intern programme has been a great initiative that I was very pleased, and proud, to have the opportunity to be involved with. From the initial presentation that interns gave, it was clear the cohort was highly motivated and possessed knowledge far beyond their years. I feel that not only have we helped in their first steps to developing their career, but they have also taught us a lot in the process.”
Likewise, the quotes from mentors and buddies on the programme were overwhelmingly positive, with both mentors and buddies mentioning the specific qualities and skills of the three interns and their attitudes and willingness, as well as the clear benefits of the programme to the interns and to the company:
“The value of the programme is clearly illustrated by permanent hires of the candidates… I have been particularly impressed by the pro-active attitude of all the interns and their enthusiasm to learn new areas. I have also found my role as a mentor to be both rewarding and insightful. The different perspectives that the interns have brought have led me to revisit some concepts that those from within our field may take as a given, and has taught me some lessons in how to communicate concepts more clearly.”
– David Inskip, Mentor
We are grateful to CBRE IM for joining us and launching this programme with such positivity and momentum. We look forward to helping CBRE IM take on more interns in 2022, and to hearing about their subsequent journeys.
The CBRE IM interns pictured below at the CBRE end of program celebration event, with Paul Gibson, Chief Investment Officer, EMEA Direct Real Estate Strategies, CBRE Investment Management. And bottom picture, with Sally Roberts, Director of the Eagles Graduate Development Programme: