Windermere Partners with UW to Launch Internship Program

The University of Washington College of Built Environments (CBE) announced a new paid internship program, Aspire, that offers financial support, mentoring, and skill-building through academic and professional office settings to students, with a focus on those from historically underrepresented or marginalized groups. In partnership with Windermere Real Estate, this CBE-led internship will begin today, July 13, and will focus on the single and multi-family residential real estate market in the greater Seattle area. 

During the eight-week paid summer internship, the eight interns will work and study for 25 hours per week. They will interact with real estate industry and academic leaders, while learning about the important role homeownership plays in building thriving communities. The program participants will gain skills in financial principles, sales, marketing, intercultural fluency, and leadership. At the end of the internship period, interns will present their work to industry professionals and participate in tours showcasing a range of processes in the home buying sector. 

Students who complete the eight-week Aspire internship will also receive a $5,000 scholarship, funded by Windermere and awarded in Autumn 2021. This scholarship aims to help the next generation of real estate professionals lead and build our communities in inclusive and equitable ways. Windermere has committed to continuing to support this internship through the upcoming academic year and beyond.

Windermere president, OB Jacobi, stated that this partnership is a continuation of the more than three decades long relationship between Windermere and UW, which started with the first Windermere Cup Rowing Regatta in 1987, and has continued through ongoing financial gifts to both athletic and academic programs at the university. 

“After learning about Windermere’s commitment to increasing diversity within the real estate industry, Renee Cheng approached us with an opportunity to partner with the College of Built Environments on the Aspire internship program,” said Jacobi. “Our goal is to inspire interest and engage students of color in the wide variety of careers and leadership opportunities available to them in real estate.”

Renee Cheng, Dean of the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, highlighted the Aspire program’s real world learning experiences: “It can be difficult for our students to appreciate the historical role of homeownership in building generational wealth, particularly if their own lived experience includes housing insecurity. This program equips students with the context and confidence to engage with the role of home in the built environment.”

Aspire program manager Alexis Wheeler agreed, saying that “in addition to building intergenerational wealth, homeownership cultivated a sense of belonging and stability, encouraging people to grow into the fullest version of themselves and fostering vibrant communities throughout our region. Through the Aspire program, students will also develop an appreciation for this aspect of ‘home’ and its role promoting a more inclusive and equitable society.” 

The Aspire internship specifically sought students from historically underrepresented or marginalized groups and/or those with lived experiences with housing insecurity. With a robust slate of over 40 applicants, the CBE and Windermere were able to select a strong inaugural cohort of Aspire interns, which includes students majoring in Real Estate and Community, Environment, & Planning (CEP), as well as majors beyond the CBE. 

The Aspire Internship will run from July 13-September 1, 2021. This is an ongoing internship opportunity for CBE and other UW students, offered in collaboration with our community partners.

To learn more about our DEI Initiatives like this one, visit Windermere.com/dei.

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