Everyday Life: Serena, Property Management Associate, Blackstone, London
Serena graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in land economics. She joined Blackstone’s London office as an off-cycle intern in 2018 after she completed an internship at UBS’s investment banking division in her second year from the end. She became a full-time analyst in 2019 and was promoted to associate in 2021.
7:30AM: My alarm goes off and I start my morning routine. Check your emails in the middle of the night to see if there’s something you need to respond to urgently. I usually pack my clothes in my rucksack, run, and shower at the office.
9:15AM: I’m at my desk, checking my email and checking my schedule for the day. Respond to nighttime inbound visitors and check relevant real estate news. Generally, that means reading FT and React News. Acquisition teams often ask us to provide real estate data for investment committee publications. So I’m going to talk to an analyst on the acquisition team. I am part of the property management team, which manages properties acquired by the acquisition team and is also responsible for the disposal (sale) of assets.
10:00AM: Weekly phone calls with the operating company in Holland. We’ll cover a few different topics, but we’ll start with the development of an office building. We are in the ‘permitting’ stage of the property, in this case we have received internal approval on the model and development plan a few weeks ago and are awaiting local authority approval. We will also discuss leasing plans for units that will be vacant soon. We discuss which brokers to use to market your assets, what are the appropriate rental rates and incentives, especially in the current macro environment. We also discuss how this affects the expected return on your investment.We will be visiting Amsterdam next week to see how the development is progressing, meet with local lawyers and banks and also discuss our itinerary. increase
11:00AM: My other deals team has an internal meeting to discuss outputs for the week ahead. This includes working with the company to develop upcoming board meeting materials to be presented to senior employees in the London office (the New York team often attends via Zoom and the company If you are far away, the meeting may be held remotely.)
12:00PM: I have 30 minutes to reply to the email I received. Send a few quick replies and flag if you want a more detailed reply later.
12:30pm: I usually go to a nearby cafe and have something to eat. Depending on the weather, we eat outside in Berkeley Square or in our office kitchen. On busy days, I eat at my desk.
1:00PM: We have department-wide evaluation meetings twice a quarter. Present transactions to senior team members in New York and have Q&A-based discussions on proposed valuations of assets we manage. This often touches on the macro and market environment.
3:30 PM: We will have a coffee break, meet with mentors, and discuss work progress, long-term career plans, and questions.
4:00PM: I’m on an “all parties” call with outside lawyers and banks on live deals. My job involves a lot of interaction with other companies, and I am frequently on the phone and communicating with high-level players in the industry.
5:00PM: Fewer meetings, back to main analysis work. I would say 80% in Excel and 20% in PowerPoint. During this time, I’m working on the model, but sometimes I catch emails or call the team that manages the property to confirm specific information.
6:00PM: The office orders food from various restaurants in London. Most juniors eat and chat with their colleagues in the office, so it’s a pretty social event.
21:00: I usually finish work and take a company-paid taxi home. How busy I am depends on the flow of transactions and when work starts around the reporting period.
Click here to create a profile with eFinancialCareers. Head of Technology and Finance Make yourself known to recruiters hiring for her job.
Have a secret story, tip or comment you’d like to share? First contact: [email protected]. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)