PFC graduate Mikhail Sokolov at Knight Frank: how can an internship in consulting help an architect?
Within the international master's program “Prototyping Future Cities” students do internships in specialized companies and architectural bureaus. We have prepared a series of publications on the results of the internships - students’ gained knowledge and developed skills. In the first issue, we will tell you about Mikhail Sokolov, this year graduate, and his internship at Knight Frank.
Knight Frank is a real estate consulting company. It is one of the largest international companies in this industry: with 418 offices in 60 countries. More than 14,000 company employees annually accompany real estate transactions of over $ 817 billion in total value.
Why did you choose Knight Frank?
I was interested in real estate consulting because of the opportunity to look at the other side of the architect’s work. I wanted to know how the technical assignment for the construction of the object is formed, how a comprehensive analysis of external factors affects the final architectural solution. For example, by analyzing the land, its surroundings, the number of people working in and around it, you can get a complete picture of the dataset for technical assignment. For me, as an architect, it was interesting to follow the full cycle of this formation.
How did you qualify for an internship?
I sent my CV and motivation letter to the HR department. After that I was invited to the interview. To complete the interview successfully it was important to demonstrate the motivation and desire to work in this particular place. A week later I was invited for an internship, which started in December 2018 and ended in March 2019.
What tasks did you perform? Which were the most interesting?
I worked with consultants and analysts of the departments of office, warehouse and retail real estate. In general, the range of tasks was wide: from data collection for quarterly reports, identification of market trends and marketing research to drawing up conclusions on the profitability of land plots.
Small projects were the most interesting for me as they allowed greater freedom of action. For them I researched the companies' profiles, tenants, the volumes of premises in sectors. Large projects required less participation, but at the same time they helped to gain valuable expert experience.
What skills have you gained?
I have become much more responsible. I was regarded as a full-fledged employee with my own list of duties. I have learned to manage my tasks in time and remain as efficient as possible.
What impressed you most of all?
As an intern, I worked on commercial projects, where I participated in the creation of the company's products. At the same time, I could always consult with almost any member of the department on any issue. As another advantage I want to highlight my personal workplace which was equipped as for the regular staff.
What is important to know if you plan to choose this place for an internship?
I was confronted with the need to call many people in my workflow. This was the biggest challenge for me during the entire internship.
How do you think this experience will help you with further employment?
Work experience in a large company is the opportunity to find out how relationships are organized, how tasks and responsibilities are distributed, whether you like working in an open-space, etc. My internship at Knight Frank helped me to better understand clients as well as gain knowledge that is not provided in architectural schools: for example, there was an opportunity to work with economic, territorial analysis and marketing research.
Did you make use of the knowledge and skills gained at Shukhov Lab?
Of course, I did! Thanks to the Master's programme “Prototyping Future Cities” during the internship I felt like an independent specialist with full understanding of why this or that task is being carried out. The Master’s programme has also prepared me to work with large amounts of information that I learned to process quickly and efficiently.
Interview: Ekaterina Vargina