Advertising student Jonathan Wood interned as a real estate and development projects intern with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo:submitted, graphic by Ashley Balsavias)
Grady InternViews: Jonathan Wood
Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.
I work with the real estate and development team on downtown development around and within the stadium, (currently that is the Shipyards Project and the Miller Electric Center, a sports performance center). I work to help plan for stadium renovations to create the stadium of the future. These projects will provide economic growth, increase job opportunities, boost tourism revenue, and create a more vibrant and inviting downtown for the city of Jacksonville. The development of these projects will serve as a catalyst for future growth throughout downtown and the city. The past few months have provided me with first-hand experience in my hopeful future career path. I am beyond thankful for all the opportunities the development team within the Jacksonville Jaguars have provided me. Go Jags!
What is the most valuable lesson you learned?
The most valuable lesson I have learned is the power of a team. It is easy to see how important a team is in sports – if one person is not able to carry his or her weight, the rest of the team suffers. Although this is quite apparent on the field, this is true even more behind the scenes. Every team member in the real estate and development projects department that I have had the pleasure to work with is a fundamental and crucial part to the success that the Jaguars and City of Jacksonville are building.
How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?
Before this internship, I knew that I was passionate about real estate. I already had doses of experience in both residential and commercial real estate. However, nothing compares to the level and scale of real estate and development I have been exposed to through my internship with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now, I have an even greater passion for this field on a larger scale, which fuels my drive to gain more experience and knowledge. This will help me have a meaningful and impactful career.
How will this role guide your future career path?
This role opened my eyes to larger real estate and development projects. These large-scale, community-based projects are exactly the type of work that I would love to be doing in my future career.
What lessons will you take back with you to the classroom in the fall?
It is important to always work hard. Whether it is a group or individual project, it can sometimes become difficult to see the end goal in the classroom when assignments, quizzes and tests are piling up. This internship has reinforced to me that both patience and dedication are important, and that putting in the work in the beginning leads to reaping the rewards at the end.
What advice would you give to students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities?
Perspective is everything. When initially applying for this position, I told myself not to get my hopes up. Never once did I think that not having a degree in real estate would give me the opportunity to learn and develop under some of the best and brightest real estate and development professionals in Florida. However, my hard work over the past few years outside of the classroom through putting myself through online courses to obtain my residential real estate license in Georgia, working for a commercial real estate company based out of Atlanta, while still taking a full load of classes has prepared me for this next chapter. My advice is to never be afraid to apply for a position that you want or are interested in.
What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?
My favorite part of this internship has been being able to see the most current development project, the Miller Electric Center (a sports performance center), being built right outside of the stadium. Every day, I see not only the progress that is being made on this 125,000 square foot facility, but also the impact that everyone has had to get the project to be where it is, which will ultimately be completed on time and on budget.
If you could describe your internship in only three words, what would they be?
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