When Carl Salinger, ’19, completed his Jepson Internship, he knew he had made a difference. Salinger interned with D.R. Horton, the largest homebuilder in the United States. Over the course of his summer internship, Salinger was able to see his work become reality.

“Watching a building change or come up in front of you is a feeling that a lot of people don’t get to experience with their work,” Salinger says.

Salinger, who is pursuing a double major in leadership studies and business administration, has previous experience in real estate and land use, so he saw his Jepson Internship as an opportunity to test the waters of a different area of the industry.

“I became interested in these fields because there is a lot of opportunity for independence and the chance to physically change the world around me,” Salinger says.

Salinger was attracted to the opportunity to work outside and the variety of tasks. He started his days by walking the community and unlocking the areas under construction. Salinger was assigned to three different development sites.

“The variety in the days stems from the fact that there was always a new phase of construction to be completed, so there are different subcontractors with different specialties coming in,” Salinger says.

Salinger’s work included managing subcontractors, meeting with inspectors and construction crews, and reviewing the progress on his sites.

“Throughout the entire building process, you have to be very organized and on task to make sure everything gets done,” Salinger explains. “However, because there are so many moving parts with different subcontractors, you have to be creative in fitting all the different pieces together. This also applies to solving any problems or clashes that arise.”

Salinger says that his leadership studies background has prepared him to think both logically and creatively. He says that while the problems that arise in the homebuilding process may not have a clear course of action, a decision needs to be made.

“I can see some of the concepts found in Fiedler’s Contingency model pretty clearly when comparing the personal characteristics and management styles of the different superintendents. Some are more relationship oriented while others are much more task oriented, with each style yielding varying levels of effectiveness dependent on the situation,” Salinger says.

Salinger says that seeing the real-world results of his work is rewarding, noting that housing is a major part in people’s lives.

“Affordable housing is key to success and stability. There are housing shortages across the country, so knowing that I’m here helping increase the supply and making an impact on people’s lives is meaningful to me,” Salinger says.

Salinger plans to pursue a career in the Washington, D.C. area, and is considering a focus on the development area of the real estate industry.

“Interning at D.R. Horton has been an incredible learning experience,” Salinger says.