Intern Spotlight: Helen Chen

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A Covenant Capital Group internship is an engaging, hands-on learning experience where graduate students can take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to the real estate world. To highlight that experience, we’ll be spotlighting on those who come through the program as they prepare for the next stages of their careers.

Hometown: Shenghai, China
Undergraduate: University of Notre Dame, Finance
Graduate: Vanderbilt University, Finance

Since joining the Covenant in September 2017, Helen Chen has seen how her academic training can translate into practical experiences. Chen knows that the business lessons she is learning at Covenant Capital Group can’t be taught in a classroom, and it’s the major reason she sought out an internship at the Nashville-based real estate investment manager.

What made you interested in real estate investment and management?
I had prior experience with real estate and asset management during my time at the University of Notre Dame. When I came to Nashville and started at Vanderbilt University, I quickly decided I wanted to learn more about asset management and real estate acquisitions. Luckily, I was able to find this internship through Covenant Capital through Vanderbilt’s career offices.

Why was it important to you that you take an internship?
The academic training is really valuable. Right now, I’m working on my Masters in Finance from Vanderbilt, but I knew that there are many things you can’t learn from textbooks. It takes real experiences for you to fully grasp the business. That’s what I wanted to get – the practical experience to make this a career. Covenant and the scale and effectiveness in which they operate has certainly prepared me to move forward as a professional.

What have been your primary responsibilities at Covenant Capital and who has helped you grow in your role?
I’ve assisted on a variety of projects and Covenant does a great job of making sure we see different parts of the business. I often assist on asset management for the properties already under control, update rate reports and help write investment books on potential properties for our due diligence process. Brandi Ferrari and John Berry have been two of my biggest teachers during my time here. Brandi has helped expose me to the asset management and financial operations side of this business while John has helped with my investment reports and due diligence.

In 5 years, where do you see your career? 10 years?
I want to be in real estate asset management and acquisitions. Eventually I would like to have a full-time job in investment and specifically real estate investment.

What advice do you have for students considering an internship?
I definitely recommend participating in an internship while in school. Not only is it a great way to learn the business, but it helps to streamline time management skills. My experience at Covenant Capital Group has taught me skills that you can’t learn inside a classroom. Covenant is also a great place for an internship because they look for interns to stay longer, giving us more time to learn all aspects of the business and grow into more responsibility.

For more information on interning at Covenant Capital Group, reach us at our contact page.

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