At Berkadia, our success is built upon the talent and hard work of a broad, diversely skilled team. From analysts to loan closing specialists to managing directors each of our people brings a unique background, perspective and expertise. Their work allows Berkadia to remain a leader in the commercial real estate industry.
Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Emma Petersen, Director of Talent Acquisition, to learn more about her role at Berkadia, what makes a candidate stand out, and advice she’d give the younger version of herself.
Describe your role at Berkadia.
As a Director of Talent Acquisition, I support and manage the recruitment team responsible for growing Berkadia’s footprint across the U.S.! I have hired and trained six recruiters who support professional level hiring across the organization. Last year, my team helped to hire 456 full time positions across Berkadia, with an average time to fill of 48 days. In my day-to-day role, I not only manage the Talent Acquisition Partners responsible for providing top notch recruitment support, but I help enable the strategy of strategic recruitment efforts and educate those within the business about how we can position Berkadia to hire best-in-class talent.
What part of your role are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about how learning and people intersect in my role supporting talent acquisition. I consider myself an innately curious person, always eager to learn something new. When I came to Berkadia I knew nothing about the Commercial Real Estate industry. Now coming up on my four-year anniversary I can say this industry fuels my passion to use my skills to be a change maker. Berkadia is abound with opportunity and amazing people to support across the U.S. and India. Learning the landscape of CRE and how my skillset can complement our businesses growth to be a force to reckon with in the lending space is what keeps me engaged and excited for the future.
What makes a candidate stand out? What do you look for?
A candidate stands out to me when they embody Berkadia’s core values. I look for candidates who are future focused, innovative and believe that all people matter. If I can tell a candidate embodies these values, I know they will make a great future Berkadian and will enjoy our work culture which we try so hard to protect and promote.
What advice would you give a candidate going through the job search process? What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself coming into the CRE industry?
Candidates should always be networking and using their connections to help them land a job. According to LinkedIn, referrals are four times more likely to be hired! So, the best piece of advice I could give somebody looking for a job is to use your connections to get the interview as well as coach you through it. A second piece of advice I can offer is to use a company’s public resources like their website, LinkedIn life page, and news articles to create talking points when you’re interviewing. There are too many ways to get information in 2023 to be unprepared for an interview. Lastly and above all, send a thank you note! A thank you goes a long way and makes you a memorable candidate.
If I could go back in time and give myself advice before I embarked on my journey through the CRE industry it would be that you don’t need to know everything to impress people in this industry. Be yourself, be confident and you will fit right in!
Where do you envision your career going?
I would like to see myself expanding my portfolio of knowledge in talent acquisition, DEIB and leadership. I’m a lifelong learner so I have a ways to go to figure out who I will be in the next five to ten years. I’m hoping I surprise myself along the way!
When you’re not helping Berkadia move the industry forward, how do you spend your time?
I love to travel and cook as much as I can! I was in Puerto Rico earlier this year and just came back from a weeklong stay in Paris.
How has your time at Berkadia helped to accelerate your personal or professional development?
Berkadia is the perfect employer for a mid-career professional. I have uncovered so much opportunity supporting Berkadia and am beyond grateful for it. Our flat organizational structure has allowed me exposure to conversations I never thought I would be invited to and build on infrastructure I could have never imagined working on at a larger firm. Berkadia has also accepted me for me and created a safe environment where I can bring my authentic self to work every day. I feel like Berkadia is a unique employer that allows individuals to flourish and bring their perspectives and personalities to the table every step of their career journey!
– Emma Petersen, Director-Talent Acquisition