Future Housing Leaders + Gen-2-Gen Events

For over 10 years, L+M has provided career path mentoring to high school and college students from diverse and underrepresented communities as they explore the commercial real estate, construction, and property management industry through its internship program. In 2021, the program extended to include events in partnership with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which connected interns with industry leaders, provided access to career mentorship, and gave them exposure to the affordable housing industry.

Fannie Mae’s Future Housing Leadership Program is a supplementary ‘a la carte’ curriculum that equips L+M interns with skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the housing industry. It includes exclusive training resources, including access to Fannie Mae University and web-based resources, and access to a growing professional network through events and the Future Housing Leadership Program LinkedIn group.

Our internship partnership with Freddie Mac, through our inaugural Building Stronger Communities Together Gen-2-Gen Speaker Series, supports our interns with insights from a diverse group of leaders. Additionally, the speakers provide career mentoring to optimize the internship experience and ensure our interns have the right tools to take charge of their professional future.

We look forward to bringing these experiences to our 2022 summer intern cohort!

A Moment with Emily Johansen, L+M’s 2022 Development Intern

L+M reached out to the 2022 intern cohort to find out more about their intern experience and how it informed their professional development. This submission is from Emily Johansen, who interned with our development team.

What impact did the 2022 summer internship program have on you professionally and personally?

From underwriting new development opportunities, exploring new models for shelter development, and navigating the application processes for various grant programs, I was able to gain a better understanding of the players, policies, and incentive programs that facilitate affordable housing development. By the end of the summer, I felt even more excited about the critical work L+M does to leverage the power of affordable housing to connect communities with resources, including jobs, economic opportunities, social infrastructure and services.

How did L+M live up to its mission “Working Together to Building Stronger Communities” through its internal culture and the community they serve?

L+M’s commitment to its mission was immediately apparent within and outside the company. Through interactions with some of the firm’s non-profit partners, including an intern volunteer day with The Campaign Against Hunger, I witnessed firsthand the intention with which L+M approaches relationships with its stakeholders.

Within the company, the firm culture encourages collaboration both across and within departments to leverage the collective expertise of the firm. I enjoyed getting to know people in other departments to understand the immense level of collaboration that is required to drive meaningful impact with each project. As an intern, I immediately felt like part of the team and was encouraged to speak up and share my opinions and perspectives.

Based on your experience at L+M, how will the summer experience for the next generation of interns impact their professional development?

Through the summer intern programming, including the speaker series and external learning platforms to networking lunches and volunteer opportunities, the L+M summer internship is a truly invaluable opportunity to build tangible skills and industry knowledge. The final capstone project was also a great opportunity to dive into a specific area of interest while developing public speaking and presentation skills. Overall, the internship program at L+M is a great way to meet others who are passionate about finding creative ways to drive community impact through real estate development.

What are you doing now?

I am finishing up my last year of graduate school and continuing to support the L+M development team part time.

What advice do you have for the 2023 summer interns?

Take the time to get to know people at the firm. Everyone I met this summer was incredibly warm and willing to share their expertise, which helped me understand how the various functions within the L+M family of companies come together to bring a building from conception to completion. Be curious, ask questions, attend as many site visits as you can, and have fun!

A Moment with Jehu Lucien, L+M’s 2020 Builders Intern

L+M reached out to the 2020 intern cohort to find out more about their intern experience and how it informed their professional development. This submission is from Jehu Lucien, who interned with our Builders team and is now an L+M field engineer.

What impact did the 2020 summer internship program have on you professionally and personally?

Through the efforts of the 2020 summer internship program with L+M Builders, I was able to expand my practical expertise in the field of construction. Prior, my internships were primarily office-based, and the limited available field work was confined to inspections. L+M provided me the opportunity to have a hands-on experience where every email, submittal, and correspondence had a tangible outcome in the field with one of the trades. Whether it was carpentry, super structure, or one of the MEPs, the ability to see written plans manifest in real-time felt rewarding and communicated the importance of this line of work.

Personally, the 2020 internship was a way to get back to normal. Back in the summer of 2020, the pandemic was just starting, and like many college students at the time, I was under lockdown. At the time, several internships were still unaware if their programs were even going to take place. I was lucky to not only be able to have a job for the summer and get out of the house but to be part of a program that would jumpstart my professional career.

How did L+M live up to its mission “Working Together to Building Stronger Communities” through its internal culture and the community they serve?

It is very easy to talk L+M’s mission literately because we all work to together, and make buildings, which does help the surrounding community. Even at face value that is great mission; erecting buildings is a notably positive contribution. Construction is, by default, is a collective effort from development, pre-con, builders, and everything before, in-between and after. It wouldn’t be possible to be successful and get the job done if we didn’t work together. However, the communities we work in can speak to that effort. During construction, they come to us on site and ask about what is being built, when will it be completed, and how can they apply to move in.

Based on your experience at L+M, how will the summer experience for the next generation of interns impact their professional development?

To put it simply, the summer experience will show you whether you enjoy the work in this line of work. L+M makes a conscious effort to try and place their interns in a daily routine in order to familiarize them with what’s expected in this field. Although this might be a daunting or unfamiliar experience (e.g., hands-on scenarios), embracing this challenge with the guidance of your mentors will positively mold you into a more adept and prepared young professional. Your professional development is impacted by understanding the tasks and challenges you will see in the workforce, and L+M doesn’t shy away from showing that to their interns.

What advice do you have for the 2022 summer interns?

I would advise the incoming summer interns to learn from the people they work alongside. A benefit, and what attracted me to L+M, is that everyone is eager to collaborate, share their knowledge, and provide guidance to whoever seeks it.

As an intern, more times than not, there is going to be something you don’t understand, and those are the times when you need to step up and push yourself to learn and grow. Although you will have resources at your disposal, the challenges will position you to think critically and be innovative. One of L+M’s main objectives is to foster a strong community—which starts with us as individuals. And now, that includes you as our 2022 summer interns.

A Moment with Elian Gomez, L+M’s 2021 Legal Intern

L+M reached out to the 2021 intern cohort to find out more about their intern experience and how it informed their professional development. This submission is from Elian Gomez, who interned with our legal team and is part of the Pencil Ladders for Leaders Program.

What impact did the 2021 summer internship program have on you professionally and personally?

Professionally, the summer 2021 internship allowed me to expand my network. I had the opportunity to connect with various interns and employees at L+M. I was privileged to continue my education on the various components that make a successful real estate development company. Personally, it was amazing to go on site tours and travel all over the city, directly connecting with the work, the teams, and the L+M interns too.

How did L+M live up to its mission “Working Together to Building Stronger Communities” through its internal culture and the community they serve?

L+M employees do indeed work together. Even as an intern, I always felt involved in the work my team does, no matter how challenging. In doing our work, we make sure to better each other along the process, as building stronger communities requires consistent improvement. This accompanies the reminder of who we serve, and why we continue to give our best effort.

Based on your experience at L+M, how will the summer experience for the next generation of interns impact their professional development?

The summer experience will allow future interns to learn about the real estate industry and its specific departments. Through learning, they will acquire skills that will be invaluable. The internship is also an amazing jumpstart to a professional career.

What advice do you have for the 2022 summer interns?

Never be afraid to introduce yourself to others in the company! Everyone is willing to assist and share their expertise.

A Moment with Colister Tappin, L+M’s 2021 Community Investment

L+M reached out to the 2021 intern cohort to find out more about their intern experience and how it informed their professional development. This submission is from Colister Tappin, who interned with our Community Investment team.

What impact did the 2021 summer internship program have on you professionally and personally?

The 2021 summer internship program has made an immeasurable impact on both my professional and personal life. Professionally, this internship has expanded my knowledge about the real estate field, and how various departments interconnect to accomplish a common goal. Personally, it has improved my communication skills and confidence. Whether it be a research assignment, presentation, or sharing an idea, each task significantly enhanced my skillset.

How did L+M live up to its mission, “Working Together to Building Stronger Communities,” through its internal culture and the community they serve?

L+M lives up to its mission “Working Together to Build Stronger Communities” through its internal culture because, as a former intern with the Community Investment department, I witnessed the team being intentional with the programs they developed for communities, whether it be afterschool programs, food drives, or supporting community organizations.

At L+M, every employee is given the opportunity to serve the community. Outside of the several grants made by the company, employees are encouraged to donate to a non-profit organization they are passionate about and L+M matches their donation. This offers everyone the chance to make a difference and build stronger communities.

Based on your experience at L+M, how will the summer experience for the next generation of interns impact their professional development?

The environment at L+M is filled with employees who are willing to teach interns new skills that can certainly boost the inters professional development. At departmental meetings, interns’ opinions and ideas are welcome in discussions, and this fosters a learning environment that can undoubtedly benefit their future careers.

What advice do you have for the 2022 summer interns?

Ask questions and build a network. There will be many topics or procedures you might not be familiar with as an intern, and that is okay! Ask questions and you will certainly learn from it. In this environment of accomplished experts and professionals, you are exposed to a plethora of information and opportunities to build a network; feel free to ask for a few minutes to learn more about a department or a position that might spark your interests. This network that you create could be beneficial for you even after completing your internship!

A Moment with Aminata Sam, L+M’s 2021 Development Intern

L+M reached out to the 2021 intern cohort to find out more about their intern experience and how it informed their professional development. This submission is from Aminata Sam, who interned with our development team and is part of the Project Destined Program.

What impact did the 2021 summer internship program have on you professionally and personally?

The summer 2021 internship program solidified my path into the development of affordable housing, while gaining exposure to all the people and moving parts it takes to holistically complete projects. From my first week at the NUL groundbreaking and throughout the summer, I’ve been working with the development team and with government officials, community leaders, co-developers, consultants, Tenant Associations and most importantly, residents to build and renovate great homes.

How did L+M live up to its mission “Working Together to Building Stronger Communities” through its internal culture and the community they serve?

It was immediately evident that L+M was committed to its mission “Working Together to Building Stronger Communities”. First, there was a 300+ person all- staff call earlier in the summer to gain input from everyone at the organization about how we can live up to the mission through the company’s values like collaboration and integrity, and it was also shown at the various projects I worked on that required people from different teams.

What advice do you have for the 2022 summer interns?

My advice to summer 2022 interns is to attend as many site visits as possible. The team organized amazing site visits to projects around the city where we meet residents, Builders, and C+C team members, as we toured the properties.