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!