Jake Gainey standing in front of a wall of paintings in gold frames.

Jake Gainey at Sotheby's headquarters. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

Imagine walking by the largest ruby ever auctioned on your way to work! That’s Jake Gainey’s reality as an intern at the Upper East Side offices of Sotheby’s, where the rarest and most valuable objects in the world are often on display. (His other favorite sightings include the Codex Sassoon—the earliest most complete Hebrew bible—as well as paintings by Monet and Magritte.)

exterior shot of Sotheby's headquarters with flags flying above

laptop on a desk

Jake Gainey taking a mirror selfie.

gallery with precious objects on display in vitrines

On the job photos courtesy of Jake Gainey.

In his role working in operations for the real estate division this summer, Jake (Gallatin ’24) summarizes financial documents and communicates with business partners on project maintenance for Sotheby’s corporate offices. Along with the chance to practice collaborating in a high-stakes environment, he has relished the opportunity to learn about art markets along the way, in part through meetings with art collectors, historians, financiers, and executives. 

Jake Gainey standing in front of a dinosaur skeleton

Fossils are a part of Sotheby's upcoming Sotheby’s annual Natural History sale. Photo by Tracey Friedman.

Lunch breaks are spent chatting with other interns outside on the Sotheby’s 10th-floor terrace.

Jake Gainey and another intern working on laptops outdoors.

city skyline viewed out floor to ceiling windows on a mostly-empty office floor

Jake Gainey and another intern smiling on their lunch break.

Jake dreams of one day becoming a sustainable real estate developer in England, or founding a business with his dad and twin brother. When asked about a movie that epitomizes his career ambitions, he cites The Grand Budapest Hotel. "Right now I'm the lobby boy," he says, "and hopefully one day I'll own the hotel."

Dramatic shot of Jake Gainey standing under a flying dinosaur skeleton

Photo by Tracey Friedman.