STEP Signature Project-Kaufman Development Intern

My name is Nick Stone and this summer, I had the privilege to intern at a Columbus commercial real estate development firm named Kaufman Development. While there, I learned not only about the commercial development process, but also about how an office environment operates. I also learned about different routes of obtaining financing for commercial projects.

I had different assumptions about commercial real estate development and an office environment going into this internship. I expected a more regimented  procedure and work place but I was gladly surprised that my superiors and fellow employees were extremely relaxed about how they conducted business. I also learned about myself in the whole internship process. This was the first time where I lived by myself without many of my classmates around me. Most of my classmates were not living in Columbus so it was an eye opening experience to have that much time by myself. Kaufman Development for the most part let me pick my own hours, so I really sharpened my time management skills during the internship.

I worked with two other interns pretty closely during my summer. One of my first projects of the summer was doing data collection of different parts of the city that are ripe for development. The internship team I was working with coordinated a game plan for how to obtain the data and the best way to present what we found to our superiors. It was transformative for me because it was my first time working with a team for an employer. I have only worked with a team in sports, clubs, or in school before this, so there was a heightened stress to get the task done right. All in all, everything ended up great and I learned a lot about working in a team.

In addition to team work, I enjoyed my internship with Kaufman Development because for many tasks I was assigned, I was supposed to give my recommendation on the best avenue to take. It was awesome knowing that my employer valued what my view was and it felt like I really contributed to the company. It was transformational because it gave me confidence in myself that I was hired for what I had interests in and for my opinion.

One day during my internship Kaufman Development, management gave me the opportunity to step outside of the development and finance department and go see what property management looked like. I spent the day at one of the properties witnessing the operations and handled issues of a property manager. It showed me how important people skills are in real estate. The property manager I was shadowing really knew how to juggle whatever was thrown at him and it started with how he managed his time.

Through the help of the STEP program, I was able to make this transformative experience possible. It was a valuable experience to my life because it gave me insight into if I should continue this path I chose for myself. I really enjoyed the internship and it solidified my choice to continue pursuing this occupation. I hope to obtain an internship next time a little bit more finance based to really make my skills well rounded coming out of college. I truly had a fantastic summer and STEP definitely helped provide the necessary funds to do so.

Attached is a picture of one of the projects I worked on named Gravity. It is located in Franklinton and the leasing office opened in August.