Youth Movement | Farbman Group’s Commercial Real Estate Internship Program
June 20, 2022
As so many of our team members can readily attest, Farbman Group’s Commercial Real Estate Internship Program is one of the most inspiring and rewarding aspects of our job. In many ways, it feels like a natural extension of the work we’re already doing. After all, getting people excited about real estate is part of the job description.
Our busiest season is in the summer, but we have internship opportunities going year-round. We have 15 interns scheduled to work with us this upcoming summer season, with at least one in every department across the company. We receive and accept internship applications from students at schools both in Michigan and from out of state. Most Farbman interns work out of our Detroit corporate office, but the program is expanding now to our Chicago office location—and we also have interns working with brokers on the road and in a range of different locations.
We believe strongly that the best internship programs are much more than just a glorified way to get busy work done. We make every effort to have Farbman interns working in a department that mirrors their personal interests and/or what they are studying in school. We encourage our interns to participate fully in a wide range of civic and professional programs both inside and outside the office. The goal is to give them every opportunity to really dive in and learn about the industry in a hands-on way.
A big part of the Farbman internship program is connectivity: making meaningful efforts to ensure that every one of our interns truly feels like they are a part of company during their time with us. We schedule lunches with department heads both to get feedback from our interns and to share information with them about what makes this such an exciting industry to work in (and what makes us an interesting company to work for). Senior leadership team members meet with interns over lunch to talk to them about the industry and what we do, and we provide lunch meetings for the interns themselves to get together on a regular basis to talk through their own experiences and provide peer support and knowledge sharing. Finally, interns also have access to our mentorship and training program, Farbman Guides, which pairs younger employees with experienced professionals.
Farbman believes that flexibility is critically important for all employees, but particularly so for interns, whose availability may vary from semester to semester depending on their schedule and course load. While the summer period is always our busiest, we have some active interns who work with us at different times throughout year. One intern has been with us for more than two years and has consequently been able to work in different departments across the company while they finish school. We readily adjust to accommodate different interns’ schedules. One thrilling new addition to our internship outreach is an upcoming partnership with Detroit high school, Cristo Rey, that will give several high school students the chance to get some time off from school during the week to spend time with us in a paid internship position.
It’s important to note that, while we have hired a handful of interns as full-time employees, the primary purpose of this program is not as a recruitment tool. We have helped many of our interns secure opportunities in different parts of the industry, or in positions that are industry-adjacent in the sense that they have real estate needs. We’ve had Farbman interns go on to form their own real estate companies and get into the investment side of the business, and it’s both exciting and enormously gratifying to see talented young professionals use the skills and insights they’ve gained from their time in the Farbman internship program as a launchpad for professional success. Those are the moments when it’s abundantly clear that our internship program may be a great opportunity for our interns, but the inspiration truly goes both ways.
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