Dominium’s Development Internship: A Fast-Track to Success in Development

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience as a Development Intern at Dominium. When I was a student at the University of Minnesota I had my eye on Dominium as the ideal place to start my career. I knew a few Dominium employees and had worked with nonprofits in the affordable housing industry, which brought the company onto my radar. Based on my research and a few discussions with other development firms, I decided that Dominium was the best place to learn about my chosen field.

From the beginning, I knew I would have to be strategic in how I approached my goal to work in development at Dominium. As an economics and urban studies major, I knew I was going to have to make up for the fact that I wasn’t graduating from a business college with a degree in real estate or finance. To prove I was a strong candidate for Dominium’s development internship program, I used my nonprofit experience in college and also worked for a brokerage firm for a year after I graduated.

After that, I successfully secured a position as a Development Intern at Dominium. My internship was an incredibly immersive introduction to affordable housing development. I supported Development Associates and Development Analysts with their projects, including assisting with financing applications and financing packages. Dominium’s development project teams are typically made up of three people, and as an intern I was usually the fourth team member in a supporting role. This was a great opportunity to learn the complex deal structures in affordable housing in a hands-on way.

After completing my internship, I was hired as a Development Analyst. I became the analyst on many of the deals I had worked on as an intern, so it was a natural progression into my new role. I was challenged in new ways as a Development Analyst, but my internship had prepared me well and overall it was a smooth transition into my new position.

Because of the size of the company and complexity of the deals, Dominium expects a lot from its development teams.  I’ve been exposed to work early in my career that I may not have been introduced to until five years into my career somewhere else. The project management responsibility I have as a Development Analyst is a priceless experience that challenges me every day, and it is something I would not have been prepared to take on without first completing my internship.

I’m not the only one who has benefitted from a development internship at Dominium. The majority of people in our development department started out as interns. In fact, even Mark Moorhouse was once an intern at Dominium. Mark is now Partner and Senior Vice President of Development at Dominium and he’s still grateful for his time as an intern.

“The internship program was a valuable experience at the beginning of my career and I continue to see its value as more and more interns learn from the experience and contribute to our team,” Mark said. In his opinion, “the Development Interns are always strong contributors to our work, but the primary value of the program is the talent it brings into the company long term.”

Eric Omdahl is a Senior Development Associate who started as an intern and now manages the hiring process for the internship program. According to Eric, “It’s rewarding to work with these interns as they start their career because I know how much the experience benefitted me.”

To the Development Interns on our team this summer, I hope you learn everything you can and take advantage of this time you’re spending in the best learning environment in the development industry.

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