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Q&A with Kajima's Development intern, Ben Solomon

Friday 3 December 2021

Kajima are keen advocates of supporting the next generation of property professionals, from providing students with work experience opportunities to graduate internships.

Kajima's intern, Ben Solomon, has been working in the Development team providing support on a variety of Kajima's Regeneration projects. Ben recently graduated with a masters in Real Estate from Reading University and also holds an undergraduate degree in Politics and International Relations from Bristol University. 

Kajima are proud to support the Pathways to Property scheme, ran by the Reading Real Estate Foundation, the initiative aims to widen access to the real estate profession by raising awareness of the vast range of careers available within the sector and promotes diversity by providing work placement opportunities to support students from underrepresented backgrounds. 

To find out more about Ben's experience at Kajima, see the Q&A below:

Q. What is Kajima like as a company to work for?

I would describe the Kajima environment as inclusive, collaborative, and entrepreneurial. From the start of my internship, I felt supported and welcomed by the team to engage in discussions and express my personal perspective, regardless of whether they may be right or wrong. As a young graduate, it’s rare to find a business that provides you with full trust and involvement on projects, especially due to the nature of the business, however, I have felt a huge amount of support and trust throughout the internship.

Q. What do you think are Kajima’s key business strengths?

Personally, I think Kajima has an excellent balance of trust with their employees. Based on my experience at the company, the flexibility and culture allows all employees to hold responsibility and opportunity to fulfil their potential. I find that larger corporates often put too much emphasis on the amount of time you spend at your desk and productivity which I believe is wrongly linked. Although the work can be stressful, I strongly believe that the faith companies place in your ability to deliver, allows you to effectively take responsibility and excel on all fronts, creating a happier and more agile workforce.

Another key strength of Kajima is the broad diversity throughout the company. Throughout my work experience, I have never seen such a multi-cultural office environment with a mix of different backgrounds and ethnicities, this is reflected in the work as colleagues are more likely to partake in diverse thinking.

Q. Do you feel that working at Kajima has lived up to your expectations of working in the industry?

Working at Kajima has changed my expectations of working in the industry, whilst I enjoyed my studies, you are shown a one-dimensional perspective of the type of work that developers undertake through textbooks and lectures. I was aware of various developer roles, however, working at Kajima has allowed me to appreciate the different strands of work and how they inter-relate. One major surprise is the bidding process, I was unaware of how competitive, creative and entrepreneurial the process is in practice.

On the other hand, this experience has lived up to some of my expectations. I have always been told that property is a people-focused business, which couldn’t be more accurate. The connections you build and the quality of work you produce is vital to the reputation you create for the business.