At Prologis, we are committed to encouraging the new generation of property professionals and helping them to learn as much as they can about our sector. As part of our programme, we recruit two interns every year from Nottingham Trent University. Since the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent offers four year courses that include a year’s industry placement, their students are ideal candidates for the work experience that Prologis can offer.
Last summer, Sam Pearson, who is studying for a BSc (Hons) Real Estate, joined the Market Officer team for a year’s internship. At the same time, Kartar Soar, who is working towards a BSc (Hons) Building Surveying, joined us as an intern on the Project Management team.
As they reached the end of their year at Prologis, we talked to them about what they have learned and how their internships with us will help them in the future.
Sam is studying for a BSc (Hons) Real Estate at Nottingham Trent University. He has wanted to become a surveyor since the age of 15 when he was offered work experience at a local estate agents. Sam specifically chose Nottingham Trent because it offered the one year work placement.
Every day is different – and every challenge is different. I have wanted to be a Chartered Surveyor since I was 15 when I was offered some work experience at a local firm of estate agents. I realised that surveying is a vast subject, which could be endlessly interesting and I loved every minute. I went back to work at the estate agents during the summer holidays and one of the reasons I chose Nottingham Trent is because it offers a year’s placement. I knew from my earlier work experience that this would be ideal preparation for my future career.
When I started at Prologis, I had no idea what to expect. There is only so much research you can do and I had very little experience of the industrial sector. But, I approached my internship with an open mind and I have learned – and done – far more than I could have imagined. I have worked mainly with the Market Officers and been involved in a wide range of projects. I have managed the marketing campaigns for Prologis Park Pineham and Prologis Park Wellingborough West and towards the end of my internship, I drafted Heads of Terms – under supervision – for a land sale at The Bridge in Dartford.
Working closely with customers has been invaluable experience. I have worked closely with the Property Management team and this has given me a useful insight into what happens after the lease has been signed. I have been involved not only with day-to-day issues, but also with more complex matters such as specialist fit-outs. As a result, I now have a much better understanding of how customers use their buildings and what they need from the landlord to operate as efficiently as possible.
I am particularly proud of the new amenity area at Prologis Park Wellingborough West. Part of the site was cultivated in 1649 by The Diggers, a radical group that emerged in the aftermath of the Civil War. The local community keeps the memory of The Diggers alive through the annual Diggers’ Festival, but we have now installed information boards about the group’s activities at an amenity area at the Wellingborough West site, creating a permanent memorial. This was my project from start to finish and I am so pleased that it has gone well. As the project progressed, I came to realise how much The Diggers mean to local people.
The best part has been working as part of the team. I have learned a great deal from the people I have worked with and I will apply the exacting standards they have taught me to everything I do in the future. Over the past year, I have gained a huge amount of confidence and I will take this back to university and on into my career.
Don’t be afraid of anything. When my replacement arrives, my advice will be to tackle everything head on. We are only here because the team wants us to be here. They have helped me to make the most of my time at Prologis and I am sure they will do the same for every intern who follows me.
Kartar is studying for a BSc (Hons) Building Surveying at Notthingham Trent University. He met Simon Cox and Paul Hanley at a careers’ fair and talked at length about the role of the Project Management team in the development of DIRFT. When Kartar was offered a place at Prologis he accepted without hesitation.
Building surveying offers so many opportunities. My family owns a property company and I spent several school holidays doing work experience with different trades and professionals to learn about the business. When I was 16, I shadowed a building surveyor and I knew straightaway that this was the career for me. A building surveyor sees a whole project through from start to finish and as I have learned in my time at Prologis, an RICS qualification opens a world of possibilities.
After meeting Simon Cox at the Careers’ Fair, I was keen to work at Prologis. Most of the corporate stands at the Nottingham Trent Careers’ Fair were staffed by current interns and associates. However, Simon Cox and Paul Hanley were on the Prologis stand and I spent a long time talking to Simon about DIRFT and his role in the development. The scale and potential of Prologis’ schemes made a lasting impression, so when I was offered a placement I accepted immediately.
I have gained much more experience than I could have expected. I have worked with the team on project management and contract administration across several sites, but I have also been encouraged to do a lot more. I have had the chance to develop skills such as public speaking – presenting to hundreds of people at a charity event – and I have been lucky enough to learn from the experts about industry-leading technology such as Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Prologis has given me responsibility – and guidance when I needed it. The team has trusted me with contract administration on multi-million pound projects for customers such as Sainsbury’s and Screwfix. But, whenever I had questions, they would always make time to help me find the answers. Everyone at Prologis has been generous in sharing their knowledge and I now have a much better understanding of the industry than I could possibly have gained in a classroom.
I am looking forward to my final year. My time at Prologis has given me a lot of ideas for my dissertation and I am particularly interested in the effectiveness of smart metering. Do customers actually use the data a smart meter provides and if so, how? But, during my time at Prologis I have also learnt an ethos that I will take back to university and on into my career.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. One of my favourite quotes is: ‘To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.’ So, I would say to the intern who comes after me don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You are here to learn and the Prologis team will do everything they can to help you. Seize the opportunity and make the most of it.