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My Summer Internship

Who should I intern for?  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. Who should I intern for?

    • Boulevard Centro
    • Furman
    • Levine
    • Other

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Hey guys. This summer I will be doing an internship for an urban real estate developer in Charlotte. What firm should I choose? Please tell me why u think that firm is good and if you choose other, please specify the developer. I don't know if Furman and BC are the same, so just let me know. Thanks!!

Also, if any of you guys have connections to any of these firms, be sure to put in a good word for me if I decide to choose that firm. Maybe I can get some sort of small salary - that would be excellent, doing 2 things you love at once.

Thanks again.

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I'm still in HS, my junior year is almost over (THANK GOODNESS!) and I've done pretty well gradewise. So this is pretty much just a 34-hour summer internship. What are some more possible CLT development firms specializing in urban development?

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If you are willing to accept being an unpaid gopher, then most any small company is fair game......

It wouldn't hurt to call Blvd Centro, The Boulevard Company, Spectrum Properties, The Ghazi Company, and Pappas Properties.

You may also try calling, Land Design, ColeJenestStone, DPR (which are all urban land planners)

The Charlotte Chamber and Charlotte Center City Partners also sometimes take on summer interns, though I believe they may be at the college level.

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skysdalimit....Im a Junior too and im thinking about getting into the Urban Design field, are there any local colleges that offer degrees in urban design, where do you plan to go to college? I cant find any place that has these degrees or a field related to it

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Well, I really plan to be in more of the business part of development - the head haunchos. So I plan to get a masters in business from UNC-Chapel Hill. I'm sure there are some local colleges that offer urban design. I know UNC-Charlotte has a pretty good architecture program.

And the cool part about running the development firm (I plan to own my own development firm one day) is that you get a lot of say into the design, so you're pretty much the boss of everything, if ya know what I mean.

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Boulevard Centro is owned by Furman (and his wife I think)....but he also has a separate company that he owns that is an architecture firm exclusively.

NC State has an Urban Design degree I think.....UNC-Charlotte offers architecture and city planning (as a concentration in Geography)

Skysdalimit......I don't mean to come across as harsh, but take whatever you can get as far as an internship......it will be very difficult to land one (unless you have an inside connection). You will have to sell yourself extremely well. Persistance may pay off....you will need to try to talk to the owner of these firms and not even bother with HR. You will get blown off by most of them to start, but you should eventually be able to get a few to relent to listen to you sell yourself......again, don't expect to get paid.

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clt feels that any degree from unc chapel hill is vastly overrated.


Generally, people aren't impressed with where you go to school, they are impressed with experience and what you are able to do with whatever degree you have. As far as undergraduate degrees are concerned, they're all pretty much the same. It is really tough for recent college grads to find a decent job. If you just have a BA or BS and no real experience, people don't want you... If you have a Masters or a PhD, you're generally overqualified unless you're gonna teach, even if you have no real world experience. Of course it's different if you're going into a very specific field that is related to what you did in school, but of course, most people end up wanting to do something different than what they got their degrees in. It's a jungle out there! :blink:

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I agree that experience and skill plays the largest role in getting jobs, but going to a school with a national reputation helps through your lifetime, because you are often judged based on other graduates of the same school, and you gain the relationships.

Generally, schools with good reputations are so because their graduates tend to have the high level of skill/experience, whereas schools with lesser reputation are so because their graduates tend to not have that. Obviously you can get "as good an education" at home or public library with amazon.com, if you put the time into reading the right books, but you won't get the chance to meet professor that are respected in their fields, or students that have met competive entrance requirements. The apprentice is showing that skipping college for some is okay, as long as you have the drive and skills to become rich or successful.

in general, i have my own opinions about certain schools based on the observations of their graduates, and have made hiring choices based on that. I'd say don't pick a school unless you are cool with being judged to be similar to the others that go to that school. Every school has a namebrand and associated image... people assume things of you based on your school (Bob Jones, Duke, Harvard, Louisiana State, Wheaton, Washington & Lee, etc.)

Even though college choice is just one of many factors of success, I'd suggest to be sure that you are okay with taking on a school's image for yourself. There are many employers that hire only from two or three schools in this state, and i'll let you guess which ones. But, then again, you may not want that image or work for those employers.

Ahh... the dilemmas of high school upperclassmen. :)

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I think it's true to some extent experience matters more, but I will say this.......the school you chose to get an MBA from can be huge to some companies.......i.e. Grubb Properties will only hire MBA's from the top 20 programs in the country for it's development team.......

Your other option is to get a Master's in Real Estate from either MIT, Columbia, Harvard, John's Hopkins.........

You will find that it takes an ungodly amount of persistance to crack into commercial real estate unless you follow one of three paths....1) construction (become a project manager) 2)Real Estate Broker....(here an MBA doesn't hurt) 3) Finance...(MBA required from a top school and internships)

If you don't follow one of these routes, then you need to find a niche (planning, market analysis, law, residential sales, architect, structural engineer) and you better be the best in this field......

Not to dump on other jobs, but becoming a developer requires you to be good at so many things, and there is no direct path to it.....it takes creativity, salesmanship, LOTS OF CONTACTS, knowing people with lots of money, and persistance.....

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A few notes - I was in Centro's offices yesterday and saw Furman in person. Thought that was kind of cool, since he is a Charlotte "celebrity" of sorts, at least on this board.

Being a developer is a pretty dirty business in most parts of the country, especially in union dominated parts of the country. Lots of palm greasing, politics, unsavory characters to negotiate with, etc.

Lastly, school choice does matter, but not as much as it used to. Because real estate has become so mainstream since this boom market started back in the mid-90s, many more jobs have been created as it is no longer just a niche, alternative asset class for investment. Tons of companies (pension funds, trust, hedge funds) have allocated money for real estate investments that never had before. Im in RE finance and many people who do deals here don't even have MBAs.

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UNCC is building a Real Estate Program (currently a MBAD concentration as I understand)

This is a recent article from the Charlotte Business Journal.

***Note to Management: Sorry for the break in etiquette (pasting articles) but the journal requires a login etc.


$2M raised for UNCC real estate center

Industry leaders from around the state have raised nearly $2 million to launch a real estate research center at UNC Charlotte.

The Center for Real Estate will focus on industry-related topics and expand real estate programs at the school through additional courses, scholarships, internships and executive education.

The center is "the culmination of a multiyear effort to build a real estate program of national stature at UNC Charlotte," says Chancellor James Woodward. "It is the embodiment of the successful partnership between the university and the real estate industry -- a relationship strengthened by our mutual interest in growing and supporting the North Carolina economy."

Steven Ott, John Crosland Sr. distinguished professor of real estate, has been named director.

Donors include Smoky Bissell, John Crosland Jr., the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association, Robert Rhein and the N.C. Home Builders Association.

Spearheaded by Claude Lilly, dean of the Belk College of Business, fund raising will continue with a goal of $3 million for the center's endowment.

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