W&L Outcomes: Rett Daugbjerg ’22 After a successful summer internship in 2021, W&L's Rett Daugbjerg '22 is now working for JLL's Capital Markets group in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Hometown: Dallas, Texas
- Post-Grad Plans: Capital Markets Analyst at JLL in Atlanta
- Industry: Real Estate
- Areas of Study: Business Administration, Geology
“Explore every opportunity that is interesting to you, and try to avoid going into an industry just because you think ‘that’s what people do.'”
~ Rett Daugbjerg ’22
Q: What will you be doing after graduation?
After graduation, I moved down to Atlanta to work for JLL’s Capital Markets group. I interned with the same group last summer and was fortunate to get a full-time offer after the internship program ended. I’ll be helping to underwrite commercial real estate investment sales.
Q: How did your career plans evolve over the course of your time at W&L?
My job search was pretty interesting and ever-changing. I knew I wanted to be in a finance-related role from the outset. Initially, I was searching for finance opportunities in the energy industry. When COVID-19 hit, there were some really unique things happening in the energy markets that caused a lot of uncertainty. From there, I pivoted and started looking for internships in commercial real estate. After a lot of networking, applying and interviewing, I was fortunate to land with JLL.
Q: What internships or other summer experiences did you partake in and how did those experiences shape you and your career plans?
Internships are a great way to figure out what you like and what you dislike about potential careers. After freshman year, I interned in New York City with Colliers International doing commercial tenant representation work. I had no real estate experience and had never been to New York until that summer, so it was an incredible experience. I learned a lot about the value drivers of the space that companies occupy, as well as a lot of the requisite real estate terminology and shorthand.
Sophomore summer was our COVID summer. I had initially accepted an internship with Hines, a commercial real estate development company, but the program was shortened and pushed virtual. When I found out it was shortened, I took a job as a hand on a cattle ranch near Gunnison, Colorado to fill out the rest of my summer. I spent six weeks fixing fence line and branding calves, which was an experience I will not soon forget. After leaving the ranch, I helped Hines’ East Region Multifamily team identify multi-housing trends to develop a strategy in the face of COVID. I was also fortunate to virtually attend an investment banking bootcamp with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. The program was an intensive, week-long crash course in energy investment banking that culminated with a mock M&A pitch deck. Oddly enough, COVID summer was probably the most informative and holistic for the career paths I would eventually pursue.
Finally, my junior summer internship was with JLL’s Capital Markets Group in Atlanta, where I will be returning full time after graduation. The internship was a structured, nine-week rotational program where we helped underwrite commercial real estate transactions across all asset classes (Office, Multi-housing, Retail, Industrial, Land, and Debt/Equity Placement). It was a fantastic crash course in real estate finance and I’m excited to go back in July.
Q: How did the Office of Career and Professional Development (CPD) support you and which resources did you find most helpful?
The CPD office is home to some of the most helpful and welcoming faces on campus. I met with Career Advisors constantly throughout my process for advice, reassurance, interview preparation and professional document review. The Career Fellow program was also incredibly helpful along the way – having students readily available to help their peers with career-related questions was great for fine tuning resumes, cover letters and interview preparation. Beyond preparation, the office has advisors that can field virtually any question or solicitation of advice for any career path. I cannot say enough good things about the CPD office, and the W&L alumni network as a whole – they were tremendous support systems for both the job search and the overall W&L experience.
Q: Who or what has inspired you along the way?
In my opinion, the most valuable thing about W&L is the potential friendships and mentorships you can cultivate with faculty and staff. I was fortunate to make connections with various staff and professors, many of which I will definitely keep in touch with after graduation. The entire CPD office was integral in my W&L experience, as were my two major advisors Chris Connors (Geology) and Scott Hoover (Business). There are countless other relationships I’ve been fortunate to make with the W&L faculty and staff. I will always be grateful for how knowledgeable and helpful the entire W&L community is.
Q: What career-related advice would you give to next year’s graduating class?
The two biggest pieces of advice I have are to keep an open mind about the job search and talk to everyone you can. Explore every opportunity that is interesting to you, and try to avoid going into an industry just because you think “that’s what people do.” The CPD office has an incredible database of W&L alumni that are all willing to talk about their jobs and their experiences with you. The more people I talked to, the more comfortable I was with the next steps I took in my search.
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