How my 499A internship combined my passions for PR and real estate

Dakota Trenkamp and fellow interns with face coverings
Dakota Trenkamp (front row, center) interned with Union on Lincoln Way Apartments in summer 2020. Trentkamp is a senior in public relations and event management.


By Dakota Trenkamp, senior in public relations and event management

This summer I was privileged to be a communications and events intern at Union on Lincoln Way Apartments, which is a property that is owned by parent company Greystar Real Estate LLC Student Housing Sector. Greystar Real Estate LLC is one of the largest leasing companies in the world with over 600,000 units. Greystar has many different sectors, with its student and collegiate housing sector being one of its fastest-growing as the company builds or acquires and manages dorm buildings and apartments near college campuses.

Dakota Trenkamp, senior in public relations and event management, interned with Union on Lincoln Way Apartments in summer 2020. One of his major tasks was planning move-in day.

As an intern at Union on Lincoln Way Apartments, my main project was to plan and execute the move-in and move-in week events.

Unlike traditional apartments where units become available throughout the year, student housing leases all start and end together. This makes the move-in event an extremely important aspect of the student housing sector, requiring planning and execution to ensure a smooth move-in as the majority of residents move into their new homes.

The coronavirus affected this greatly. We had to massively overhaul what previous move-ins looked like to ensure the safety of our residents, guests and staff. On top of planning and executing the events, I was in charge of communicating with our residents throughout the summer. It’s vital to be communicating to our audiences in proper ways to get the information across in an effective manner.

Throughout the summer, I had many roles at Union on Lincoln Way Apartments to help expand my knowledge of the leasing world. My many tasks ranged from giving tours to prospects and communicating with competitor properties to follow their growth compared to ours. All of the jobs I had at Union on Lincoln Apartments related directly to building a relationship with our consumers. These consumers are considered one of the largest forms of advertising we can get.

The socially distanced move-in went amazing. It provided an effective way to move people into the building as safely as possible. This is one of the biggest events that I have been a part of planning and implementing. Toward the end, we pulled 19-hour shifts to guarantee a smooth and well-implemented move-in.

As a recipient of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication Internship Scholarship, I was able to focus on striving to widen my horizon of what my future career will look like. I have always had a passion for public relations and real estate. I never knew that these two passions of mine could be combined into one job—that is, until I interned at Union on Lincoln Way Apartments.