Project ideas to give fresh intern

Particularly at a dev/acq. shop. What type of projects, short-term or long-term, have you given your interns to occupy their time (little to no experience)? I am thinking something market research related. Anyone find success with other ideas?


Was recently an intern, market research is great. Have the. Assist with writing memos or tasks. One great thing if you want the intern to really learn is toss them a model of a deal and ask them to;come up with questions and insights based on the model. Give them a couple of hours and then meet with them to go over it.


Dev shop here. Interns do a ton of market research/rent comps, unit punch walks, and putting together debt/equity books based on a template. 

I also like trying to give them a little project that they can complete in time. One example is car chargers. I showed our intern the budget for car chargers on a property and told him to go find us the best setup. It lets them feel like they "own" a part of the project, which is key IMO. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Created my firm's internship program curriculum last summer - here's what I made him do:

1. Weekly reading and review with me after from Linneman's Real Estate Investments: Risk & Opportunities (still had the textbook from college)

- Kinda dry and boring, but such a great resource. Good for me to review some more esoteric stuff as well, and having to explain concepts helped . Also made him read Poorvah's The Real Estate Game for a lighter read.

2. Market research (included pulling CoStar comps and double checking them against, making the comps maps for presentations, checking proforma hard costs against RSMeans, etc)

3. Excel, PowerPoint, accounting modules on Wall Street Prep (gave him my old login from my onboarding training when I was an IB summer analyst)

- Once again, kinda boring, but necessary - plus I didn't want to spend my own time teaching him logo alignment type bullshit.

4. Would have him take the first stab at underwriting multifamily deals using the model template I created for my firm. I'd then review it with him, question his assumptions used, best practices. Was mostly just him linking the financials and RR by category to the CF tab before I cleaned it up for the final version. I'd also just execute NDAs for random multifamily deals being marketed by major brokers like Cushman, then have him underwrite and present them to me. That was just mostly for reps.

5. Made him create a final project where he underwrote a live deal, and created an investment memo presentation to present to me, my team and the head of our firm.

6. Filing documents and other bitch work I didn't feel like doing. 

7. Made him set up a Roth IRA for his paychecks.

Hope this helps. Linneman book is key IMO


Every intern wants modeling experience. Give them your internal modeling test and have them build out some bells and whistles on it. Teach them the importance of formatting (black for formulas, blue for hardcodes, etc), making models dynamic and other best practices.

They’ll also be super slow so it will take up a lot of time 

Most Helpful

Kinda felt bad because he was just in Excel the whole summer, occasionally picking up the phone, but think it made him better:

1. New database creation, analysis, and PowerPoint on what was found. We had him aggregate all the deals we sold off before he got here, proforma economics vs actual economics, time to complete, predevelopment spend, etc. It was a big excel file. Then he ran analysis and looked for interesting stuff and put it on a PowerPoint at the end of the summer.

2. Aggregate gigabytes of Florida Department of Traffic xls data, scrub it, and find the top 30 intersections that have grown in traffic/AADT over the past several years. Ended up being pretty useless.

3. Gave him Kahr's Challenge Cases to work on during the week and set time on Friday's to review. Guy went from total modeling newbie to pretty decent over 8 weeks.

4. Had him look for fresh land comps in our target markets, and eventually call brokers. Was somewhat helpful for us but really for him to learn how to talk about land.

5. Every week he'd receive a word doc abstracting every active PSA with our obligations, and he'd boil it down the short term action items and highlight for the group. Helped us free up our paralegal and gave him a taste of contracts.


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