- Can you tell us about your role at BNP Paribas Real Estate?
I’m currently working in client finance at BNP Paribas Real Estate Germany, this involves a wide range of tasks; basic accounting duties such as reporting, data management, being a business partner for accounts receivable and payable and being responsible for operating costs. The job involves creating reports for clients, this is obviously a great way to see what’s being going on over the last month and means you ensure that everything is as it should be. This is a real numerical proof of what you’ve achieved over the previous four weeks, and in this way you can flag any problems which you then have to solve.
- Why did you choose a career working within the real estate sector?
I have to say that I didn’t actively choose the real estate sector, it seemed to choose me. As a student of macro-economics I worked in various sectors in order to gain experience within different industries. I worked for a marketing company, an insurance company and a communication company. I then work in a trainee position for BNP Paribas Real Estate and it turned out to be a very good match, being the most interesting and complex job.
In January 2018 I was offered the chance to work in BNP Paribas Real Estate full-time. I was really pleased to have this opportunity as the job corresponds to my skills. In this job you have to be able to self-manage and be organised but also question what you’re doing and why, which is something I naturally do as I need to know everything about what I’m doing so I feel comfortable doing it.
What was really great, was having already worked as a trainee for two years, when I started this job I really knew the company, and understood how to handle the sometimes complex systems.
- What was it like moving from a trainee position to a full-time one?
The responsibility is very different, because as a trainee you work under someone else and when you move into a full-time position that onus is on you. What was good is that I got to build up my skills in BNP Paribas Real Estate so developed the competences needed for my current role. It therefore didn’t feel like a huge leap between the two jobs. I’m definitely very happy and comfortable in this position.
- Why have you learnt from working at BNP Paribas Real Estate?
Not to take criticism personally, if a client is unhappy they are not specifically unhappy with you. I’ve learnt that it’s important to keep a cool head and remain calm.
- What is the best thing about your job?
I actually can’t name just one thing. For me working in a team is something I really enjoy. What’s also great is the complexity of the job in terms of the challenges I’m facing every day. The skills that I am using relate to what I studied and it’s great to be able to put them into place in this job.
- What is the most challenging thing about your job?
It’s quite a stressful job as we are meeting constant deadlines, which does put you under a lot of pressure as missing a deadline can have a big effect on our clients.
- What skills do you think someone needs to work in your department?
You need a very good understanding of numbers in order to be able to look at the monthly reports and figure out where something might not be right and understand what each number represents. You therefore need to be meticulous in order spot inaccuracies or issues.
You also need to be sociable as the job is very much team based and patient because you often have to wait for something else to be done before you can start on your part.
- How do you think you’ve got to where you are today?
I think I’ve showed interest in the job and my skills and background are a very good match for the job I’m doing.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into a career similar to yours?
I can pass on the advice that I was given when I faced my first problem at BNP Paribas Real Estate, which is just to remain calm. When dealing with money, clients have a tendency to be demanding so it’s important to stay relaxed and not let that get to you.
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