Berlin, 11 March 2021 – Ever wondered what working at TA Europe is really like? Luís Carvalho shares his experience. Born in Portugal, he grew up in The Netherlands and in Great Britain. Now he is based in our Berlin office and works as a Consultant on real estate projects.
At a glance
Name: Luís Carvalho
Age: 27 Years
Position at TA Europe: Consultant
Originally from: Portugal
1. What does your typical working day look like?
There is no such thing as a typical day – and I bet I couldn’t stand it if there was! One day, I inspect the sewage pipes in a shopping centre, the next day, I write a status report of an on-going project for our client. One week, I spend two days in Munich, the next week, I discuss future projects with my colleagues in Berlin. There is a lot of variation, which is exactly what I enjoy.
2. What do you like most about your job?
There is not only a lot of variation about where I work – I also get to know many different types of buildings: residential properties, office buildings, retail centres, to name but a few. Each one of them have their particular characteristics, and I find it very interesting to have a closer look at the parts of the building which are not visible at the first glance or where not everyone is allowed to go, e.g. at the technical rooms of certain buildings, where the technical equipment is located.
We sometimes discover weaknesses of a building that our clients have been unaware of. In those circumstances we provide help and assistance to them by developing a realistic technical assessment of the property in question and by exposing all the possible risks within the building. It is not that we don’t want them to buy a certain building. But we want them to be fully aware of what they are buying.
Last but not least, it is always a bit unpredictable what you will find during a visit of a property– every project or every building is individual. The whole process of exploring a building is a challenging, yet fun aspect of the job. Especially now during COVID, it is always nice to leave your desk at home or at the office to be on-site.
3. What do you consider unique about TA Europe and its culture?
Even though the majority of our offices are located in Germany and our founders are German, this is by no means a conventional German firm. Half of our team members are non-German in origin. Therefore, English is our default language in everyday communication. It is a very diverse culture with people coming from Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, India etc..
I grew up in Porto where I lived until the age of eight. Then my family moved to The Netherlands, where I spent part of my childhood and teenage years before we relocated to London. This might have triggered my wish to work together with people from different backgrounds and with unconventional biographies.
At TA Europe, project teams are always assembled according to the clients’ needs and the requirements of the project itself. This means that I can work with different colleagues from diverse offices, with whom we normally do not have a day-to-day contact. Of course, since the pandemic started, we now have strict safety regulations in place and minimise travel to protect clients and colleagues. But I am looking forward to a time when COVID-19 is under control and we all can travel again as freely and fearlessly as we used to.
Since this is my first full-time occupation after finishing my studies, it was important for me to find an environment where I can develop my already obtained skills and acquire new experiences within the construction and real estate business. Those conditions for growth are provided here at TA Europe and it is exciting to work with such a dynamic team.
4. What does it take to thrive at TA Europe?
There are some particular requirements at TA Europe compared to other real estate or construction consultancies – the language barrier is probably one of the most important ones. Being able to communicate and work in English and ideally know a second language are fundamental skills for a thriving experience at TA Europe. Then, curiosity and openness are key to prosper here as well. It surely depends on the role. As a consultant, you need to be comfortable with changing environments and a lack of routine.
5. Could you imagine working at another office location or is Berlin the perfect place for you?
I moved to Berlin one and a half years ago. So at the moment, I have no intentions to live somewhere else. Berlin is usually a vibrant town where you can find delicious food at the most different restaurants and even grab a beer at four in the morning from a “Späti” – a kiosk which is open all night – if needed.
Yet I used to study in Munich before I came to Berlin and occasionally miss swimming in the river Isar on a sunny summer’s day. When I want to see my friends in Munich, I know that I always have the option to work from our Munich office for a few days. It is generally possible for all of my colleagues to work from our different offices, and I think this is a great opportunity. We have a tool where we plan who will be in the office two weeks in advance so we can make sure there aren’t too many people and we can comply with the firm’s safety standards and the Government regulations.
6. What insider advice can you give to a someone who would like to work at TA Europe?
I would recommend being curious and showing willingness to learn. As a consultant, be prepared to see different places all over Germany and Europe. On my first working day, which was before the pandemic started, I was already sent to Spain for three days. That was quite an unusual start – but it can happen.