Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Burgers and Real Estate

Hello everyone! This morning, I stopped to get an iced latte at McDonalds and brisk walked to my office. On the streets of Manhattan’s financial district, it is common to see interns rushing to work with their coffees in hand. Perhaps, or mostly, because we all want to perform at our best. One of my favorite things about being an intern in New York City is that I am constantly surrounded by different food places, allowing me to try a variety of new things every day.

When I reach the office, I am usually one of the first people there. It gives me time to prepare my workstation and think about what I want to do for the day. (Also, I get to avoid the worst parts of the Manhattan rush hour. The subway during rush hour is a true first-world nightmare.) Additionally, I get to know some of my colleagues better. Sometimes, they share interesting information with me that give me a better insight into the business world. Today, one of my colleagues saw my McDonalds iced latte and began to share some interesting tidbits about the company with me.

One of the most interesting things I learned about McDonalds is that despite the fact that you can find one of their restaurants on almost every block in Manhattan, the bulk of its earnings come from its real estate investments. My iced latte this morning, and the countless others purchased by people all across the world, only form a small portion of McDonalds’ profit. McDonalds’ diversified portfolio has allowed it to remain one of the Fortune 500 companies. Solely remaining in the food and beverage industry would not have allowed to become such a large corporation.

When I first thought about my internship this summer, I did not expect that I would be learning more about McDonalds. I thought I would be learning more about statistical analysis and data research. However, in my interactions with my colleagues and managers, I have begun to realize that the corporate world is far more sophisticated than it appears at first glance. More importantly, I have realized that knowing more about general behaviors of corporations (such as their diversification of revenue sources and investments) is crucial in the real world. This is not exactly information I would search for in my leisure time, thus my internship has been a real eye-opener.