Through an internship with Colliers International, Teresa Kepes ’21 is learning about trends in the commercial real estate industry. As a recipient of the 2019 Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend, Kepes joined the firm’s New York City and Sydney, Australia branches, where she surveys the migratory behavior of the harbor city residents.
An economics and history double major, Kepes arrived at HWS intent on entering the world of finance. Following a trip to Wall Street through the NYC Finance Experience facilitated by the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education, Kepes connected with executives, analysts and bankers from leading firms. During a presentation by Colliers International employees, including Colliers New York Vice Chairman Alexander Jinishian ’77 — who helped make Kepes’ internship possible — Kepes says, “Something just cliqued.”
“I was intrigued by the overall trends that drive commercial real estate in highly urbanized cities such as New York City as well as the complexities of the finance behind it. It’s also interesting to have the realization that so much of the development around us is commercial real estate. The industry has a significant impact on people’s daily lives,” Kepes says.
While in New York City, Kepes worked primarily with tenant brokers. In Sydney, she is rotating between landlord brokers and the valuation and advisory team. With the brokers, she is observing the strategic and interpersonal side of commercial real estate. Her experience with the valuation and advisory team has exposed her to the role of financing.
“Everyone here is very kind and open to teaching interns the ropes,” Kepes says. “It’s been a great learning environment and experience so far. I’ve been able to shadow people, sit in on meetings and receive lectures from those who are experts in the field. What I have enjoyed the most, besides the work, of course, has been the kinds of people that I’ve met so far. I truly believe that commercial real estate attracts a special type of person. There is never a dull day here.”
On campus, Kepes is a member of William Smith Congress and the Finance Society. She is also on the Budget Allocation Committee for Student Activities. She is also a tour guide in the Office of Admissions.
Created in 2007 by Honorary Trustee Charles H. Salisbury Jr. ’63, P’94, L.H.D.’08, the Salisbury Stipend is one of the most ambitious programs in the Colleges’ history. The program provides financial support for travel, lodging and expenses for students interested in pursuing an international internship experience in a location of the student’s choice. By supplementing classroom education with professional experience, students gain a practical understanding of the demands and rewards of future career opportunities as well as an opportunity to test their skills and realize their potential.