Noah Rolnick
Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate student Noah Rolnick.

This is what a virtual internship is like, according to a real estate student who completed one

As I began the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program this past fall as a combination degree student to begin advancing my education, background and network in the commercial real estate industry, I was excited about getting a hands-on learning experience at an internship this summer. I went through the internship recruiting process with several companies before accepting an offer with the Real Estate Advisory Group at Duff & Phelps in their Atlanta office.

Shortly after accepting my offer, COVID-19 heightened and the country quickly shifted to working from home. Even so, Georgia was one of the first states to lift their stay-at-home orders so I was hopeful that I would spend the summer in Atlanta. Ultimately, the company made the decision in early May to shift the 11-week, in-person internship to a two-week, virtual internship.

The virtual internship was definitely different than a traditional internship. However, in the work-from-home era, everyone has been challenged to learn how to work remotely. The internship consisted of training in various service lines, including general business valuation, real estate valuation and portfolio valuation. Team members would lead our training sessions through WebEx and apply the trainings to real life scenarios. Additionally, we used Percipio, an online learning platform with prerecorded courses to advance our skills in areas such as Excel, public speaking and time management.

The internship concluded with the presentation of our Summer Deal Challenge, a case study we worked on in groups of five throughout the duration of the internship. It was great to meet other interns who had similar interests and career aspirations. Overall, it was an incredible learning experience, and I could not be more appreciative of Duff & Phelps for putting together this program during these unprecedented times.