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At Charter Hall, we create better futures by bringing aspirations to life.
Our exclusive 12-month scholarship program offers students of business (property) or property economics at Western Sydney University and University of Technology Sydney an exclusive opportunity to gain hands-on industry experience.
Working a few days a week with us during their final year of studies, they are paired with senior Charter Hall employees who act as their mentors as they rotate through our core Office, Retail and Industrial and Logistics sectors.
We speak to this year’s participants: Sarah Caprarelli, who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Property Economics at UTS, and third-year WSU Bachelor of Business in Property student Nicholas Bizzanelli.
Why did you choose a career in property?
Nick: This may sound strange, but I’ve had a passion for property from a young age. Growing up in Penrith, I was fascinated by how it was shaped by property developments, and by how whole neighbourhoods sprang up out of empty land.
How was your first day in the office?
Sarah: It was straight in at the deep end for me. I was seconded to the capital transactions team, and after a quick tour of the office and an IT induction they gave me work straight away.
Their approach was very much ‘You’ll learn as you go, if have any issues and come to us and we’ll help out’ - which I really loved, because it was obvious they weren't going to be babying us.
Where are you currently working within Charter Hall?
Nick: I’m still on my first scholarship rotation, with the retail team. Every week I'm placed with a new small team within retail and I’m like a sponge, there there's so much to soak up. I came into this with a bit more of an interest in the industrial sector of the business, but I'm loving my time in retail so far.
Sarah: I’m now onto my second rotation, in office development. I’m working with different heads of department and they take me along to all their meetings which is great, I've been learning so much. Right now I’m working on sustainability, which is really interesting.
What part of your work experience have you enjoyed the most so far?
Sarah: I really love that it’s such a fast-paced, highly effective work environment, and the activity-based way of working is awesome. The area I’m most passionate about is property development – I just love that you can take an idea and turn it into something tangible.
What’s been the biggest eye-opener working here?
Nick: No offence to the uni, but I feel like I’ve already learned more here in a month than I did in my last two years of studying.
And I hadn’t realised property is such a big industry, with so many different jobs available. Within Charter Hall, you can see that there's three massive sectors in industrial, retail and office, if young people want to pursue a job in property then there's so many opportunities for you here.
What advice would you give others studying property degrees?
Sarah: I took a year off my studies to work in property management, and I would really recommend other students to try and get a job within the industry, even if it's as a part-time receptionist in a real estate agency, just anything you can do to get your foot in the door - you will learn so much.
And another thing I would recommend is to network whenever you can and always be ready to promote yourself, because you never know who you'll meet.
What do you feel Millennials have to offer the property industry?
Sarah: I think we bring a unique skill set. We have a really good understanding of technology, which is great in terms of innovation and pushing to bring different outlooks. And I think we're also very adaptable, determined, and we want to learn. We can keep up with changes within a fast-paced environment and we're very solution-orientated.
Nick: I think the younger generation coming through, we're very collaborative, enthusiastic individuals, which is good for employers.
But right now I think the most important thing for me, being one of the youngest here, it to try to learn as much as possible from the older generations. There's so much experience within this company.