I Was A Summer Intern For Duke Long. Can You Imagine?

I Was A Summer Intern For Duke Long. Can You Imagine?

What is commercial real estate media?
So. I was asked at the beginning of the summer if I would “help” Duke Long with his website and commercial real estate tasks. I didn’t know anything about commercial real estate but I did know a little about writing and marketing so I said “yes.” Now don’t worry, Duke is not that cheap. I was one of those paid interns. I was not, however, the kind that got coffee and groveled on hand and foot. Duke doesn’t even like coffee. I came into this internship at the beginning of the summer with little to no knowledge of the vastness of the commercial real estate network and I definitely learned a thing or two.That’s not to say I wasn’t useful to Duke in his writing and various endeavours. For example, Duke wanted his website to be totally redone so I introduced him to a friend of mine who gladly took on the task. We even shot a professional explainer video which will be up on the site in the near future. I also helped Duke brainstorm for his posts, did hours of research online and gave him countless links to look at so his writing could be better informed. I learned how to generate newsletter templates, register domains, create contest formats, new twitter accounts and handles, resized pictures and made him turn down the loud music. All of this gave me a glimpse into the online commercial real estate network and it’s interesting aspects and people, some of which amazed me.

Who are these people?
No one uses Facebook to promote their businesses anymore?
I didn’t even know that much about LinkedIn, but now…WOW (see how I did that thing that Duke does with the line in the sentence.)
It’s weird how boring #CRE tweets really are.
If you have a fade haircut, you’re not necessarily a hipster. You may just live in L.A. or San Francisco and have a startup.
I don’t actually talk on the phone as much as the older generation does.
Why does everybody try to look so serious?
Are buildings cool? Now I know they are and I look at them as these beautiful and amazing spaces.

Young Eyes.
So you’ve probably figured it out by now and this probably goes without saying, but I’m a very young intern. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Most interns are young people looking for experience. I’d say it was a win-win situation because I provided Duke with some unique perspectives on demographics and certainly the widespread use of mobile media and technology. I taught him how to selfie (refer to the picture above). He surprised me a couple of times with his knowledge, too. Have you ever heard of Oculus Rift or Cycloramic? I hadn’t. They’re pretty interesting. I really had no idea how how broad commercial real estate is. It’s not just your office building. It’s the bakery down the street where you get your breakfast, the bar on the corner where you get a little pick-me-up after work with your buddies, the park your kids play at on Saturday afternoons. But I don’t need to tell you what commercial real estate is, now do I. I’ve just learned all of this and it gave me a little more perspective, or at least a different kind.

I mean, sure there have been boring days at work. I did some pretty monotonous tasks. If you got a message from Duke on LinkedIn asking for you to subscribe to his newsletter (which you should), that was me. I clicked on every person’s name and sent them a message in groups of 50. We had some fun, though. Of course we went to Starbucks and used their wifi and had drinks (I had coffee, he had hot chocolate. Refer to the statement made in the first paragraph). He went and got groceries and ran errands some days because his “creative juices weren’t flowing”. We did a juice cleanse together for 5 days and personally, I’m not a very large person to begin with, so it killed me. He thought it was awesome. I made him go the gym with me and I ran on the treadmill, he walked and stared at the buttons on the machine. I ran a local 5k, won my age group, got some candy as a part of my prize and so he ate it of course.

Open to the world.
But when we’re not making a “workplace culture” or taking breaks, we’re making a worldwide impact. I had no idea that he got emails from all over the world and phone calls daily from New York and California and England and who knows where else. People from all around the globe read his stuff, and that’s pretty cool. Even if he doesn’t use commas in his writing. I was trained in school to write a certain way. You know how it goes…intro, body, conclusion. If you’ve read any of Duke’s articles, you’ll understand what I mean when I say he doesn’t care for traditional conventions. He says what he wants, when he wants to say it, and in whatever format he feels so inclined to put it in. He says what no one has the guts to say and that’s pretty admirable. He drops “F-bombs”. If I did any of that in my school writing, I probably would’ve failed. What I’m trying to say is, he does what he wants but still gets it done. Some of you may know him in person and you know exactly what I’m talking about.

So now it’s back to school.

After doing all of the work I’ve done, I hardly think I need to take any more business or computer science classes. I’ve gotten more experience in the business world than I thought I would in just this one short summer. Even if I decide not to go into commercial real estate, I experienced things and learned valuable lessons that I can still use in the real world.

Imagine what I could do with a real job…


Duke Long


  • You are a very fortunate intern and good luck in school! Thanks for sharing. I will be forwarding this post to my assistant (college student who works part-time) as I am sure she will relate to your experience and get a kick out of it!

  • You are fortunate. Duke likes to take chances; sometimes he’s wrong, more often than not he’s right about a lot of things. It probably was exciting to be around a leader who is not afraid of failure and doesn’t waste time covering up his mistakes, but rather learning from them. One can absorb and contribute a whole lot in a short period of time in that business environment; solving problems and creating opportunities…what else is there?

  • You have a remarkably similar writing style to Duke, with much the same tone and strength, so I’m guessing you are family. But you are adorable and somewhat pensive, so perhaps there is no real family resemblance after all.

  • Great read! You were naive, trusting, inquisitive, open, suspect. You are now battle tested, focused, in a new place, still inquisitive and suspect (maybe more so after time with Duke!), wiser, richer and ready for some time off!

  • Wow… the gangs all here, love the pic. Duke. You look great without your usual scowl. Just busting your chops. You know I love ya buddy. It is hard to look good next to someone with a great smile.

    Signed up for the newsletter. Great to have help and she will learn a lot with you. She is obviously a good writer and as a site owner I know the hard work that goes into a site, (or at least Bob does) so good job. Always love your posts too… keep them radical. The industry needs some shaking up.