Just Another Day at the Office

Yesterday I am sitting at my desk around 8 AM getting acclimated for the day as I normally do by catching up on the news for the day by reading the Wall Street Journal, sorting through emails and printing out some reports to get started on a few deliverables for my team. As I am in the middle of all this one of the associates comes over and tells me that some of the lawyers that work closely with our group are in town from Atlanta and that they are taking our team out to dinner tonight. He then invites me to come along. Aside from the fact that I am a college student open to getting a free meal whenever I can, I accept this invitation because I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to get to know the members of my team better outside of the office as well as connect with some of Key’s business partners. Fifteen minutes later, one of the senior bankers comes over and informs me that he is going out of town on Thursday and needs to stay in the office all day tomorrow to finish up some work before he heads out and therefore will be unable to play golf with the Atlanta lawyers. He asks me to fill his spot in the golf outing. Without hesitation I let him know that I would love to play in his place. About ten minutes later he forwards me an email that has all of the info I need for the tee time. Little did I know, I had just signed up to play golf at Firestone Country Club, the home of the World Golf Championship’s Bridgestone Invitational! You can only imagine how pumped I was.

After listening in on several conference calls regarding some of the deals my team was working on, I wrapped up my work for the day and headed over to the restaurant with the rest of my group to meet up with the lawyers. We enjoyed a nice meal about fifteen minutes outside of downtown in a suburb called Independence and I had the opportunity to connect with the attorneys as well as get to know my team in a social setting. I fit right in with everyone and I realized that I had made a great decision in accepting an internship for the summer with Key. Everyone’s friendliness and hospitality affirmed the welcoming and open culture that I had been told Key had during my recruitment process. After dinner I headed back to my apartment to watch the Cavs put together a dominant victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and went to bed earlier than usual since I had to get up at 6 AM the next day for our tee time.

I rode over to Firestone with one of the associates in our group. Upon arriving I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. We had an absolutely perfect day for golf at an immaculate venue. The grounds crew had already set up the grand stands for the Bridgestone Invitational, which will happen in a few weeks, and the course was in excellent condition. I took some warmups at the driving range and on the practice green with the members of my group for the day and I could barely contain my excitement to finally tee off. As I approached the tee I was definitely intimidated by my surroundings. I felt like a PGA Pro with the bleachers surrounding me and the massive Rolex clock next to the tee box. I even had a a caddy guiding me around the course offering me club suggestions, fairway specs and reading the greens for me before every putt. Besides the fact that I was nervous as all be playing with some of our partners and my superiors, I ended up playing the best out of our foursome and shot an 88. I had to pinch myself a few times to remember that not only was I playing an incredible course, but I was technically at work and getting paid to do something that I love.

Once we finished the round, all the groups met up back at the clubhouse and we had lunch together before the lawyers had to head over to the airport to fly back to Atlanta. This was truly an unforgettable day and an opportunity that I definitely do not take for granted. I am so fortunate to have been placed in an internship that allows me to take part in fun activities like these. Slightly depressed remembering that tomorrow I had to go back to the office and actually work, I headed back to my apartment for the day and rested up. Overall, I think I am going to like this whole banking thing.



Welcome to Cleveland

Hey everyone! I wanted to take the opportunity in my first post to tell you who I am, what I will be doing this summer and why I chose to pursue an internship with KeyBank. My name is John Browne and I will begin my third year at Ohio State this fall. I am studying finance and have pursued many courses within Fisher that explore the real estate industry. Within Fisher I am a brother of Alpha Kappa Psi and I am a Vice President within Buckeye Capital Investors. Since coming to OSU, I have been particularly interested in a career in investment banking. Prior to my internship with Key, I interned with Ohio State in the Accounting department my freshman year and with Diamond Hill Capital Management as a Product and Sales Support intern during my sophomore year. Both of these positions, along with my academics and extracurriculars, have prepared me well for an internship this summer with Key.

When searching for an internship for this summer within investment banking, I targeted firms that had a strong arm in the real estate sector. The primary driver for my interest in real estate is that it combines many of the same metrics used to value stocks and bonds, but puts a tangible asset to that analysis. Key provided me with an opportunity to work in real estate banking at one of the top middle market real estate banks in the country.

At Key, I am working in the Real Estate Capital division in the Institutional Real Estate group. This group primarily deals with fielding, underwriting and financing deals with Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and other large scale commercial real estate projects. I have been placed on two very different deals since I began my internship that have provided me with the chance to work with other analysts as well as senior level bankers. At times it has definitely felt like drinking water from a fire hose, but I am very open to the challenges of the industry and my superiors have been extremely helpful with steering me in the right direction and answering the many questions that I have. The hours can be a bit strenuous, but I find that the days fly by and I thoroughly enjoy being pushed to help my team and the firm on these various projects.

While in Cleveland, I am living at an apartment at Cleveland State University that is a 20 minute walk or 5 minute bus ride from downtown. I have had the opportunity to attend a few Indians games, Cavs watch parties, eat at some of the many restaurants and play a little golf on the weekends. I could definitely see myself living here after I graduate and enjoying life in downtown Cleveland as a young professional. I look forward to keeping you all updated on my 10 week journey in Cleveland with Key!