Prague promise: Karol Metelski lands a #firstjob at Cushman & Wakefield
In the latest edition of our ‘My First Job’ feature series, BBA graduate Karol Metelski tells us how a final semester specialization steered him into the world of commercial real estate investment…
Name: Karol Metelski
Program: BBA with International Hotel Development and Finance Specialization
Position: Junior Hospitality Capital Markets Analyst
Company: Cushman & Wakefield, Prague
When started: August 2019
Every time you stay in a hotel, the first things you look for are great service, smart interiors, a comfortable bed, and so on… but do you ever stop to think about who owns the building?
When it comes to hotel property, investors around the world think about this at ever increasing levels – in Europe alone last year more than €27 billion worth of hotel real estate changed hands!
This is the dynamic market that Glion alumnus Karol Metelski now finds himself part of. Having graduated with a specialization in International Hotel Development and Finance, Karol landed a job in the Czech Republic with Cushman & Wakefield, one of the biggest players in the global real estate markets.
“When I arrived at Glion, I never had in mind that I might be working in the real estate industry, let alone being involved in the advisory and consulting sector of the hospitality sector,” he says.
“I thought that after graduation I would work in hotel operations, with a possibility to quickly transfer into a managerial role or move to a ‘back of house’ function. However, the specialization courses in my final semester truly showed me what kind of opportunities could be waiting after graduation, and beyond. It is the professors and Glion’s visiting lecturers from the industry who inspired me and showed me that my opportunities are so much greater than I could imagine.”
At home in the hotel capital markets
Working in Cushman & Wakefield’s Prague office, Karol is based within the Capital Markets function, helping the team to prepare real estate assets for market.
“My typical tasks include analyzing investment opportunities in the CEE region using financial modeling; actively engaging with investors and operators on hotel sales and operator search projects; creating marketing collateral for such projects and updating internal databases so we can offer the most up-to-date research to the different departments and service lines,” he explains.
“Besides Capital Markets activities I am also involved in projects from different service lines, such as preparing feasibility and valuation studies for hotels and other mixed-use properties.”
Karol’s not the only class of 2019 Glion BBA graduate to find a role at Cushman & Wakefield – click here to discover the story of Philippine Bouye.
What Glion did for me
Thinking back to his time at Glion, Karol highlighted three areas of his personal development that are proving most useful in his working life. The first was to truly understand the importance of attention to detail, which, he says, “really helps to distinguish yourself or your product from others – giving you an incredible advantage in every field of work”.
The second concerns teamwork, something that Karol says he got to practice every day he was at Glion. “It is not just the ability to work in a team; but you also get to practice your leadership, problem-solving and communication skills, which are essential to your future career.”
Last but not least, Karol adds that from his first day on campus he learned empathy – a soft skill that is increasingly prized in the workplace. He notes, “The teachers during our applied learning classes tried to teach us how to look after our customers and develop or enhance our skill of empathy. It is one of the most important skills, which is a must in the hospitality industry.
“Whether you work as a waiter, receptionist, event coordinator or an analyst, having empathy will not only make your service extraordinary but will also help you truly understand the needs of your customer. With that, you can deliver a truly personalized service or product.”
Learning by doing – in the real world
Another facet of his BBA program that Karol feels was a critical benefit were the two professional internships.
“I must say that my internships were among the most crucial elements of my time in Glion. Both of them make you use the knowledge that you gained through different courses; and by the end of your internships you also have a better understanding of how to apply it.
“My first internship took place in F&B operations in a 5* hotel, while the second one was in business development in a small hospitality firm. Even though my first internship was in operations, the knowledge I gained there is extremely beneficial in my current role at Cushman & Wakefield. I truly believe that both internships gave extra value to my overall employability,” he says.
Meet another Glion BBA graduate who has landed at a leading player in the international hotel investment markets: Lucas Naudon at CBRE Hotels
And Karol was also thankful for the opportunity to connect directly with potential employers provided by Career Day, which is always a semester highlight.
He explains, “Career Day was a great way for me to get to know better the companies that I applied for through the school’s online platform. Many of these companies wanted to interview me on the spot, which I must say made the recruitment process a lot easier. Just a few days after Career Day I received multiple offers, which put me in a very favorable position!”
Now Karol looks forward to the future with optimism, in the knowledge that he already has a global leader in real estate consulting on his CV. He hopes to become an expert in the hospitality industry, building on his Glion education and his work experience – ultimately branching out into the world of hotel development.
“My advice to all students reading this would be to not limit yourself with the opportunities you pursue. Dream big and do everything you can to make those dreams come true. Do not be afraid to take risks and to try something new. It might open your eyes for something that you did not consider doing, or did not even know about.”
Why not check out some of our other ‘First Job’ stories – you’ll find the links below: