Phillips Edison Internship, A Real Asset to My Education

Published on September 11, 2017 in Retail Real Estate Industry, PECO Culture, and Leadership & Development
Nick Wessels
Nick Wessels
Leasing Intern

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The PECO Internship Program has been a major part of my collegiate experience, and has played a vital role in my personal and professional development. The program has allowed me to explore my passions for real estate outside of the classroom, and has enabled me to apply my knowledge in a real world environment. I have been lucky enough to work in three different departments at Phillips Edison over the past three years, and can confidently say it is the people that make the difference.

Phillips Edison is a fast-paced company that encourages continued learning, physical and financial wellness, community engagement, and an unparalleled culture at every level of the organization. Whether it was underwriting, transactions, or leasing, I was welcomed on the first day and given the training and tools necessary to succeed. Every team I worked on was always willing to explain things I didn’t understand and take extra time out of their day to explain why I was doing a specific task. Every day is different, and you never know what project is going to fall on your desk. However, the one thing you do know is that everyone is willing to help you learn and answer questions.

After spending a year and a half working for the Acquisitions team in both Underwriting and Transactions, I had the opportunity to move to Atlanta and work for PECO’s southeast leasing team. Having the chance to do this gave me a much more holistic understanding of the company, and allowed me to learn more about the operations side of the real estate business.

With the Atlanta office being much smaller, consisting of only 8 people, I was able to work directly with two agents. My primary job was to assist the agents in sourcing, fielding, negotiating, and executing deals in order to drive value to the firm’s assets.  As an intern I took part in extensive market research, canvasing, cold calling, LOI and lease negotiations, and much more. I was invited to sit in on a number of meetings and negotiation calls all with the sole purpose of helping me learn. I traveled all around the state of Georgia, and visited a number of Florida markets including Panama City, Tallahassee, Live Oak, and Jacksonville. I also got to travel Greenville, SC, to witness the grand opening of a Lidl Store in that market. The small office atmosphere combined with PECO’s culture allowed for a great learning environment and enabled me to have a truly hands on experience.

On top of work, I had the chance to explore a new city and create memories that will last a lifetime. Over the course of the summer I learned that “lunch” is the most important meal of the day, Braves games are a must, and that business casual is not the preferred dress in Tallahassee on a Wednesday. Whether we were at the office or not, the entire office knew how to get their work done, and had an awesome time doing it.
There wasn’t a day that went by when I wasn’t excited to go to wake up and go to work. One of the best parts of interning at Phillips Edison is that they give you real work and assign projects that add direct value to the company. It was apparent from my first day on the job that PECO invests time, effort, and a tremendous amount of resources to ensure that their interns get the most out of their 15 week experience. It is because of Phillips Edison that I, and many other students, have been able pursue their passion for real estate as an undergraduate student.
 
Nick Wessels
Nick Wessels
Leasing Intern