My name is Maurielle Yao and I’m currently a student at the University of Florida, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Finance with a minor in Real Estate. I was a leasing consultant intern for 12 weeks in the summer of 2015 in Tampa, Florida. I worked full-time onsite at Camden Westchase Park, and also visited various Camden properties throughout Tampa Bay and worked in our corporate office.
I’m here to tell you why every single day of my internship was a worthwhile learning experience and an adventure! Below are my Top 5 reasons I enjoyed my Camden internship. Click each header below to read more!
The leadership opportunities: I truly believe that leadership begins at the end of your comfort zone. Having little sales experience, my first few weeks as a leasing consultant were not easy. However, I stayed positive, faced my challenges head on, and viewed being out of my comfort zone as an opportunity to grow. Not being afraid to make mistakes and staying confident and resilient were key for me to become a better leader. My team’s constant encouragement was one of the key motivating factors during my internship!
My amazing work family at Camden Westchase Park. Seems like yesterday! (Left to right: Ruben, Rachel, Cindy, Nick, Will, Me, Angie, Mike, Ricardo)
What’s great about Camden is that there are so many resources for employees! There is on-demand training, mentor/mentee programs, short videos, and even a Camden University. There are many tools given to you – you just have to use them! I soon learned that there is a lot of action behind the scenes in order to keep an apartment community running smoothly. Some of the things I did were help turn our office completely paperless, tend to prospective residents, host several resident functions, and even host a sales meeting.
The perks: The internship program allowed me to delve into the operations within Camden and it further confirmed my passion for the apartment industry. I was also given my very own beautiful and furnished one-bedroom apartment at Camden Westchase Park. The apartment was FULLY furnished by CORT Furniture with a bed, toiletries, a TV, kitchenware, and even a toaster!
The beautiful kitchen! The day I moved in, I received a handwritten note and gifts from the staff welcoming me to the family. I felt so spoiled!
One of the best aspects of my internship program was that I shadowed in different departments every few weeks. I did site visits, analyzed budgets, and participated in manager’s meetings. I spent time with our maintenance team, our Regional Vice President and our District Manager, our bookkeeper, our marketing director, our real estate investment team, and our landscape director and more. I was completely absorbed in learning everything there is to learn in the apartment industry.
Here I am pressure-washing the sidewalk with our groundskeeper, Will. Love your maintenance team! It was not easy!
The culture: A company’s culture is key to personal and team growth. Camden Property Trust has a unique entrepreneurial spirit and differs from many other companies, in that it allows employees to have complete control of their career path. Camden’s work culture fosters respect, hard work, and fun. Everybody is on a tough grind, but also takes the time to have fun. What I found interesting was the amount of team building exercises we had. It strengthened our office as a whole and made us more effective team players! It’s no question why Camden ranks high on several workplace lists: #10 in Fortune’s Top 100 Businesses to Work for in 2015, #40 in Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Women in 2015, #24 in Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2015, and more.
I had a wonderful time helping clean up Hillsborough Ave in the Adopt-A-Highway program with some of our Tampa team members. Camden Cares!
The values: A company’s values can be the key to success… only if they’re followed. During my summer internship, I noticed that Camden’s values are exemplified every single day. Camden’s values include being customer focused and people-driven, being a team player, leading by example, staying results-oriented, working smart, acting with integrity, always doing the right thing, and having fun. Some key lessons I learned from Camden’s values were to treat every person you meet with respect and you’ll get that and much more back. I noticed that nothing makes a team operate smoother than a great team player. Motivating others and being a role model is key in helping a team move forward to new heights. And, one of the greatest quotes I heard from my supervisor during my internship was that she likes her team to “manage the community like it’s your own business.”
The people: I enjoyed meeting every single person I met during this internship, whether it was my team at Camden Westchase Park, the leadership team at the Tampa Regional Office (TROC), or all the other Camden properties I went to. One of the most important lessons I learned was “Don’t pick a job. Pick a team.” My community manager and my team at Camden Westchase Park allowed me to grow and feel motivated every day. Being surrounded by hardworking, honest, and selfless people allowed me to be the best leasing consultant I could be. Your attitudes, moods, and behaviors echo throughout the workplace and can affect your co-workers — even your residents!
My favorite picture of the whole summer!
As you can see, I loved my internship because it was personalized for my interest in finance and real estate. I am so proud of what I have done and who I’ve become after my Camden internship experience. The leadership opportunities I had, the work culture and perks, and company values allowed me to enjoy my internship and succeed to my full potential. I am never going to forget the 12 weeks I spent with some of the greatest people I have ever met. As I’m finishing my last semester at the University of Florida, I’m excited to see what’s in store for me in the future!
A little bit about Maurielle:
Occupation at Camden: Former Leasing Consultant Intern at Camden Westchase Park in Tampa, Florida
Secret Talent: Oil painting and graphic design
Three words that describe her: “Never give up.”