European Graduate Academy – Hola from Madrid!

European Graduate Trip to Madrid

Upon joining Knight Frank as a graduate in the offices team, I had the privilege to be a part of a new concept for the business to create links between all of the European Knight Frank Offices. The European Graduate academy aims to do this through networking with our colleagues at a graduate level, so these links can be further developed throughout our careers. This is done through online meetings with our teams around Europe, a conference in Prague and most recently a conference in September 2023 in the Knight Frank Madrid office.

Due to the timing of the conference being from Monday to Wednesday, Ailbhe & I both decided to visit Madrid for the weekend before this. Ailbhe arrived in Madrid on Friday and I then arrived on Saturday afternoon. This gave us the opportunity to visit the local sights in Madrid including the Royal Palace of Madrid, El Retiro Park, Museo Reina Sofia and explore some of the local night life, while also getting an escape from the less then ideal Irish summer of 2023.

The conference

The conference began with food and drinks in El Jardin De Arazábal located next to the Museo Reina Sofia famed for its works by Picasso, Salvador Dali, and many more famous artists. Here we met the entire group of approximately 24 graduates and were greeted with drinks and tapas. This gave us an opportunity to reconnect with the group before the conference officially began the following day.

European Graduate Programme - Madrid Conference

On Tuesday we visited the Madrid office for the first time. The day began with an overview of the conference and what we would be doing as graduates for the next day and a half. As part of the conference each country had to present how their Knight Frank office positively impacts on People, Place & Planet. This gave us an opportunity to both practice our presentation skills while also gaining great insights into other offices and initiatives which might also be good to implement in our own office.

Also, as part of the conference we were split into groups and asked to pitch to a client for a 50,000 sq. m site. We were asked to give our views on what we would propose developing here due to our clients specific requests. This allowed us to get to know the other graduates through working with them while also helping us to gain great work skills on pitching to clients.

Tuesday night we all went for drinks before going to dinner to a Spanish/ Brazilian fusion tapas restaurant where we further got to connect with our European colleagues, before socialising further that night with them and perfecting our salsa dancing skills…. Which we found Hayley was especially good at.

The trip was wrapped up with final presentations and pitched on the Wednesday morning and a quick lunch before our flight home, where we learned a ‘well-done burger’ in Madrid is a ‘very very rare burger’ in Ireland!!!


The trip was an invaluable experience for each participant. While the trip was very enjoyable for each of us, it also helped us to develop skills, and connections for the future to further develop the Knight Frank brand in Europe.

Ailbhe, Hayley & I would like to thank all people involved in the organising of the trip including Declan O’Reilly, Deirdre Fahy and Marco Capelli, & Eric O’Halloran which without it would not be possible. I personally feel incredibly privileged to be a part of the first Knight Frank European Graduate Academy, and I believe it is a testament to the project and the organisers to its success as the second group of the Graduate academy begins this year.