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?
A key feature of the Colliers All-Star Graduate Programme is the job rotation system whereby the individual gets to spend some time in different departments, taking on different roles. As a fresh grad, I wanted to experience each department and role to not only have a better understanding of each job scope, but also to learn more about myself. I believe this rotation programme provides the exposure to the different aspects of the real estate industry, thereby enriching me with a more holistic experience.
I expected the job to have a steep learning curve – one that requires different skill sets and a broad understanding of the real estate industry as well as an opportunity to be involved in numerous projects. I braced myself for the challenge. Thankfully, the people around me in the office have been more than helpful and kind and they never made me feel that I did not belong here. For the past six months, I am very fortunate to have been assigned to two departments - Real Estate Management Services (REMS) and Consultancy, Valuation and Advisory Services (CIVAS) - and the experience was both rewarding and endearing for me.
2. How would you describe the experience of working at Colliers thus far? What do you like about working here?
Definitely the people. The colleagues and mentors have been very patient with me and most helpful in making sure that I was able to absorb all that they are teaching. The people in Colliers have been very friendly and hospitable, so I really enjoy the company culture here.
Being in a collaborative and friendly environment also encourages me to probe and learn more effectively. I had no trouble going to anyone for help at all during my time with REMS and CIVAS. Both departments made me feel welcomed and I learned a lot from them.
Overall, my experience working at Colliers has been relatively enriching and pleasant thus far and I look forward to learning what the other departments have to offer and which role would suit me best before this programme comes to an end.
3. Which aspect(s) of the job do you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy undertaking research work within the consulting department as it allows me to learn about the different markets and real estate types in each country. Since all markets are very different, it made the whole process not only dynamic and enriching, but also interesting at the same time.
For example, I worked on a research study on residential property markets in the APAC region, which exposed me to different residential markets in different cities. Our team would then consolidate and analyse the data to develop insights for each market that are relevant and useful for the clients.
As with most jobs, there are bound to be roadblocks and hurdles along the way. When that happens, we would take a step back and look at the bigger picture, going back to our objective of providing an accurate and concise assessment of the market for the client. Overall, I truly enjoyed the experience with the consulting team even though it can be pretty stressful when deadlines are tight.
4. What are your career goals and how do you think Colliers can help you achieve them?
As someone who has just recently entered the workforce, my short-term career goals would be to acquire more knowledge and expose myself to as many learning opportunities as possible. By doing so, it will allow me to gain new perspectives of the industry, better understand emerging trends and risks, and broaden my work experience. My other short-term career goals would include enhancing my interpersonal communication skills and my leadership ability by being more proactive at work and continually be motivated in what I do.
Moving forward, one of my key objectives would be to have my mind set on a specific department or function that I not only enjoy working in, but also passionate about contributing to in the coming years.
5. Share with us a little-known fact about yourself; something few people know?
One little-known fact about me was that back in secondary school, I was part of a military band, where we had to march under the hot sun while playing our instruments. Luckily for me, I used to play the flute which was a lot lighter and more manageable than the tuba.
Despite the long and strenuous training sessions, those four years in the band were thoroughly enjoyable and memorable for the friendships forged and how it fortified our character. The experience taught me about resilience, pushing me to go further, do better and certainly made me a more disciplined person. I learnt a lot about myself and I still draw on those learnings to this day.