Alumni Spotlight: Full-Time at The Lionstone Group

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August 22, 2013 by sabrinafreire

Gahl Shalev
Major: Finance
Grad date:
December 2012

1

Where are you working?
The Lionstone Group, a commercial real estate firm in Houston

How did you go about getting your full-time offer? What steps did you take?
I met a few people from The Lionstone Group at a company field trip that I arranged last spring for my organization. I asked questions and made sure I was noticed while there. Then, I stayed in touch with some of the people from the company. In the fall, I happened to meet one of them at a conference in Austin.  He remembered me and introduced me to the founder of the company. I then spoke some more with the founder at a subsequent happy hour. That weekend, I sent him (the founder) an email and asked him if I could get on the phone with him in order to pick his brain for some career advice. He was impressed with my proactive approach and liked the fact that people in the industry knew my name. He then asked me to come down to Houston for an interview.

What classes do you think were the most valuable in getting your internship?
a. Valuations
b. The REIT program(FAP)
c. Not a class, but internship experience
d. Not a class, but case competition experience

What skills do you think were the most important for you to get your job?Networking. I also follow trends in industry via internships, conferences, talking to people, magazines, newspapers, etc. and when I meet someone high up in a company, I’m somewhat prepared to speak intelligently.

What advice would you give to others as they search for an internship?
a. Put a lot of effort into establishing your personal brand/reputation while in college.
b. Meet people and be aggressive (but polite) about it.  Don’t be afraid to email the CEO of a huge firm, if that is what you want. You may not always get a response, but sometimes, you will, and those connections are invaluable
c. Use UT alumni to expand your network. Each person you meet, ask for another contact.  Don’t ask about jobs, just let them know who you are and ask good questions.
d. Make yourself seen. Go to professional events, not just recruiting sessions on campus.
e. Get a diverse internship experience. Try to work for both small/big firms, in various cities/states/countries.
f. Stay in touch with as many people as you comfortably can. Shoot them an email once every few months.
g. Read a lot so that you can show that you understand trends. A time will come when you’ll have the chance to talk about them, along with your opinions regarding them, with someone whom is worth your while to impress.
h. Plan ahead. Continue networking and inquiring even after you get a job. Stay ahead of the curve.
i. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
j. Don’t be afraid to think big.

Can you describe how your interview went?
Fun. I spoke with about half a dozen people at the company at positions ranging from partner to analyst. The company is a very good and interesting one, and I was therefore genuinely interested in speaking with these people, which made the interviews easier.

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