Back to News list

Q&A with our scholarship intern: Lauren Kalina

03/07/2018

Having welcomed Lauren Kalina into the business, we were excited to hear of her experiences participating in our 2018 Scholarship Program and the unique set of skills she brings to Charter Hall as a millennial.

Having welcomed Lauren Kalina into the business, we were excited to hear of her experiences participating in our 2018 Scholarship Program and the unique set of skills she brings to Charter Hall as a millennial.

What did you study at university?  Bachelor of Business (Property) at Western Sydney University
Describe why you have a passion for property?  Whilst studying a health-related degree with aspirations to become an Occupational Therapist, my passion for property transpired after I was offered a position at a residential real estate firm. As I enjoyed my property management-based role far more than expected, I decided to align my study with an industry I enjoyed working in and found myself fascinated by.
Explain why you were interested in becoming part of the Charter Hall Group? The Charter Hall Scholarship is a valuable opportunity to gain first-hand experience with one of Australia's leading property groups. Whilst balancing full-time study, Charter Hall has allowed me to broaden and apply my knowledge whilst experiencing the diverse nature of the industry. What makes the scholarship unique is the opportunity to rotate around core sectors of the business under the guidance of various property professionals. This has allowed me to expand my network and be exposed to the day-to-day operations of a business which understands the importance of nurturing young talent.
What divisions have you rotated through so far with Charter Hall? Office (Property Management, Asset Management, Development, Technical Services), Capital Transactions, Investor Relations
What challenges and opportunities have you faced as part of the Scholarship Program? Whilst the Charter Hall Scholarship has been challenging at times, it has definitely allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone. The ability to learn quickly within a fast-paced environment has been difficult, although my mentor and the business as a whole have been more than willing to answer any questions I've had. The opportunities far outweigh the challenges as the scholarship has enabled me to understand the company’s vast property portfolio and establish an appreciation for each sector. The highlight so far has definitely been the asset tours and development site visits! The scholarship’s flexibility has also been extremely valuable in being able to experience what the industry has to offer whilst completing a university degree.
As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion,
Charter Hall supports the PCA's Girls in Property Initiative, what is your advice to young women who are interested in a career in property? 
Take any opportunity that comes your way - you never know where it will lead you! Also, never be afraid to ask questions and start networking as soon as you can (the API's Young Property Professionals events are a great place to start!)
What unique set of skills and qualities do you think interns/millennials bring to Charter Hall?  Especially as it is changing so rapidly, our understanding of technology is advantageous for modern businesses like Charter Hall. Our sense of innovation benefits from this and we are taught and encouraged to collaborate at university in the same way the industry does on a day-to-day basis. Our different way of learning also means we are able to adapt to change a lot faster which is desirable within a fast-paced industry, such as property.
What does the future of property look like to you? I believe the future of property will be based on a strong sense of innovation and change. The tangible nature of property is advantageous to the industry and allows for modifications and improvements to constantly contend with consumer preferences and, as a result the ever-changing marketplace. Thus, transition and adaptation is important to the industry and its professionals in order to maintain demand, produce strong returns, increase leasing activity and create development opportunities in the future.
What do you love about working here? Charter Hall's culture is what makes it a great place to work. From the moment I joined, I felt a sense of inclusion where my opinions matter and are encouraged to be shared. The unique office layout and activity-based working arrangement means that you are sitting next to different people every day and are able to choose where you work depending on the task. It is also reassuring, especially as part of the scholarship program where you are moving between different teams, to feel part of an organisation where everyone is willing to invest their time in your learning and make the experience as worthwhile as possible.