1. Why did you decide to apply for the All-Star Graduates programme at Colliers? What were some of your expectations pertaining to the role?
Being a fresh graduate then, my aim was to gain a foothold in the exciting real estate sector. For me, the All-Star Graduates Programme offers a comprehensive regime – where the graduates trainees are rotated to different departments - which expedites the learning process and allows me to have a good grasp of the different aspects of the industry within a shorter span of time. It is an opportunity to gain as much exposure and “sample” various real estate roles and functions that will be useful in helping me to better identify which business operation would be most suitable.
Given that it is a graduate programme, one would expect the position to offer gradual exposure to the various business operations. In addition, there are in-depth training and site visit opportunities for a more holistic experience. Thus far, the programme has been an absolute pleasure and has exceeded my expectations, especially in the depth and breathe of the things I have learnt.
2. How would you describe the experience of working at Colliers thus far? What do you like about working here?
The experience has been largely fulfilling with many learning opportunities which enabled us to better understand the function of the various departments. All our mentors have been very patient and pleasant in guiding us through the department’s operations as well as organising site visits and some of the business events. Hence, it has largely fulfilled my expectations as a Graduate Programme.
What I like about the company is the absence of hierarchy among colleagues. Directors, managers and executives can all work together to get things done. The directors are approachable and helpful, providing a conducive environment that encourages us to ask questions if we are uncertain about the task allocated. In addition, the ease of communication has also fostered a closer bond between colleagues. I also enjoy the many bonding activities such as having dinner or singing sessions together.
3. Tell us what have you learnt so far?
The journey with Colliers thus far has imparted many memorable experiences. During our attachment with the consultancy department, our team was seeking information on a particular hotel. In most cases, potential clients may be unwilling to disclose information regarding their property, hence our team had to ask tactful questions to uncover such information.
Another memorable experience came from the Capital Markets and Investment Services department during a pitch of a collective sale project. Most times, the property owners would ask tough questions pertaining to the pitch and I witnessed the way my directors handled the situation and answered their queries, providing their views and feasible solutions. I believe these positive experiences will help me to prepare for some of the more challenging work ahead. I look forward to building up my capabilities and expanding my knowledge of the industry.
4. What are your career goals and how do you think Colliers can help you achieve them?
Prior to joining Colliers, I have always been interested in conceptualising new ideas and conducting feasibility studies for property development. Hence, I aspire to be involved in investment and consulting positions to provide fresh ideas to clients, with the hope that these ideas will create iconic developments in the future.
Through the rotations to various departments under the All-Star Graduate Programme, it helps me to get a broader picture of the entire development process from property valuation to acquisition, to assessing the tenant mix and its management. In addition, the client network that Colliers can offer provide greater opportunities to pitch ideas. I believe the programme has helped me to incubate and generate better ideas for future projects and I aspire to gradually be able to lead future pitches for projects.
5. Share with us a little-known fact about yourself; something few people know?
Before joining Colliers, I was a part-time barista for two years – juggling work and studies - as I was passionate about latte art. The café I worked in was a cozy one where the crew and customers interacted freely, chatting about their day and their experiences.
Apart from being a barista, I used to be a deputy cadet sergeant major in the Boys’ Brigade. Those were exciting times filled with plenty of adventures such as white-water rafting, abseiling, and overseas missionary trips. It has truly helped to develop my character through some of its teachings and community work done.