Benjamin Cher

Senior Executive, Investment, MITM
Benjamin graduated with a Bachelor in Business Management (Finance & Operations Management) at Singapore Management University (SMU).

My job

As an employee with Mapletree Industrial Trust (MITM), my job is to expand MITM's portfolio, targeting both Singapore and overseas markets.

How I got my job

I applied for the Mapletree Graduate Trainee programme (renamed as Mapletree Associate Programme since January 2015) on Mapletree's website and was called for an interview with HR, as well as the Head of Investments and Head of Asset Management of MITM.

My biggest fear and challenge when I was preparing for the interview was my lack of experience and knowledge of the real estate industry. Being a fresh graduate out of SMU Business, I was competing against graduates from NUS Real Estate, who may have far more exposure to the industry.

However, I was glad that the interview did not focus too much on the technical aspects of the real estate industry, but more on how I would fit into the company/ team and my willingness to learn and take up the challenges presented in this new environment.

The highs and lows

As a fresh graduate, the tasks I've been given – managing a project and driving Mapletree's data centre footprint, a new business direction for the company – certainly motivates me. Being able to meet and interact with the senior management of various global MNCs and companies, as well as being involved directly in deal negotiations have given me tremendous exposure early in my career.

Of course, the opportunity to travel for work helps too. As a fresh graduate, the learning curve has been steep for me, but I believe that that is inevitable and would certainly be a challenge for most, if not all fresh graduates. That said, I am glad that I am exposed to new things every day, and there is a lot of on-the-job learning.

My happiest moment at work

Being able to be involved in every stage of a deal (sourcing, evaluation, negotiations, closing), has definitely provided me with a sense of ownership and great joy in my years here with Mapletree. The various issues that surface on a deal-by-deal basis have also helped to challenge myself and aid in my personal and career development.

Some advice

Be inquisitive. As a fresh graduate with little experience in this field, I was told to ask questions, and that has certainly helped me to understand my work and to assimilate into the company and the industry. Also, be genuine when asking questions, and your colleagues and bosses will be more than happy to answer them.