Tanya Little: Internships—Giving (and Getting) the Most From The Experience

Tanya Little
Tanya Little

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I do not by any means consider myself a writer. That being said, I do enjoy taking time to share my insights with D Real Estate Daily readers a few times a year.

This summer, my daughter had the pleasure to intern at D CEO and D Real Estate Daily and was given the opportunity to read, edit, and post many of our blog pieces. This internship experience has had a tremendous impact on her and opened her eyes to the real world of journalism and commercial real estate.  Additionally, like many of you, we also hosted an intern for the summer.

So two things I will share on this hot August day.  First, I thought I’d share some of my perceptions (through her) of our blog work and the impact her internship had on her personally. Writing for the site gives all of us finance majors the ability to use our creative side. Often I take the liberty of coming up with my own “clever” titles, straining to remember the rules I was taught in middle school English and, for better or worse, adding humor. Commentary I received from my daughter after she experienced five hours of editing our work would suggest we are not funny and we should stick to our expertise. Yes, I do realize that this feedback could be due to the fact that the millennial mind (my daughter is 21) tends to be much more attention deficit than ours.

That said, the D experience was an amazing opportunity for her. Working with some of the brightest journalists in the business, learning about commercial real estate, taking helicopter tours over the region, and interviewing some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Dallas real estate was awe-inspiring.  If that wasn’t enough, she did the one thing she loves more than anything else: writing.

D CEO interns Sean Kelly, Britt Stafford, and Taylor Little were given a helicopter tour of the region, courtesy of Hillwood.
D CEO interns Sean Kelly, Britt Stafford, and Taylor Little were given a helicopter tour of the region, courtesy of Hillwood. (Michael Samples)

At Hart Advisors Group, we strongly believe in the value of internships and mentoring, and the benefits for both students and employers. Our intern this summer was a finance and entrepreneur major from Oklahoma State University. I asked her to share some of her observations about her internship at Hart, and this is what she had to say:

• My internship at Hart gave me the opportunity to begin working in my chosen career field and getting a taste of what day-to-day work life is like.

• Most employers look at past work experience and I have focused on my studies versus working until this summer. I believe having an internship related to my field of study will demonstrate valuable, real world experience that I can bring to a future employer.

• As a college junior, I have learned more from my summer internship than I have learned in any of my college classes to date.

An internship or mentoring program can be a year-round recruiting tool that provides an ongoing pipeline of future employees. Students are looking for opportunities to be hands-on and participate in worthwhile projects. Comparing my daughter’s internship with ours, I’m going to step up my game next year.

Helping the future generation of commercial real estate professionals develop skills, make connections, strengthen their resumes, and assessing their own interests and abilities is a passion of mine.  Maybe I can’t offer helicopter rides, but I will keep providing opportunities for interns to share in my knowledge and experience.

Tanya Little is CEO of Hart Advisors Group LLC. Contact her at tlittle@hartadvisorsgroup.com.

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