Cortland and Project Destined Launch the Inaugural Cortland Academy: Financial Modeling Internship

Cortland and Project Destined Launch the Inaugural Cortland Academy: Financial Modeling Internship

Virtual educational opportunity provides area underserved students with fundamental real estate concepts and the ability to become community stakeholders

 ATLANTA (August 18, 2020) – Atlanta-based multifamily real estate investment firm Cortland builds upon a continued partnership with Project Destined, a non-profit, social impact platform that administers real estate-based youth education programs, to launch the Cortland Academy: Financial Modeling Internship. This inaugural internship is a four-day intensive program that kicks off August 18 and will provide an in-depth knowledge of financial modeling related to multifamily assets. The program’s mission is to educate underserved youth and help them transform into owners and stakeholders within the communities in which they live, work and play.

“We see this program as a unique opportunity to continue our partnership with Project Destined in a way that positions a core group of scholars for a successful career here at Cortland or elsewhere in the CRE sector,” said Cortland Chief Investment Officer Mike Altman. “We’re looking forward to evolving this program over time as part of our approach to creating value in our local communities and paving the way for more diverse leadership in our industry.” 

Cortland, with the support of Project Destined, will virtually host 8 Atlanta-area college students to equip the next generation of real estate owners and provide insight into the multifamily industry. For the first half of each day, interns will participate in interactive sessions highlighting Cortland’s unique approach to real estate. Session topics include:

  • How Cortland Operates and Makes Money
  • Current Economy and Apartment Living
  • Capital Markets – Thinking About the Investment
  • Resident Experience
  • Due Diligence
  • Operations and Our Business
  • New Development vs. Acquisitions
  • Growth and Development in a Corporate Environment

The immersive-style internship will also include a Q&A with Cortland CEO Steven Defrancis, and meet and greets with various departments from within the company, including construction, design and marketing.

 For the second half of each day, interns will work closely with Cortland’s Vice President of Investments & Analytics Aaron Fisher and Mike Altman who will guide participants through model training in Excel. On the final day of the program, interns will present an investment project in teams of two to a panel of “potential investors” for support and a cash award. Upon completion of the program, all participants will also receive a certificate that can be shared with future employers and added to resumes.

“We are thrilled to partner again with Cortland in providing real world experience to our scholars, which in turn, expands the possibilities for their future and the future of their communities,” Project Destined Co-Founder Cedric Bobo said. “This is the first time we’ve worked with a company to offer a boot-camp-style immersion program that will further develop specific skills these scholars need at this point in their education as they prepare to start their careers with companies like Cortland.

Since 2018, Cortland and Project Destined have partnered on multiple programmatic and internship opportunities to provide over 100 high school and college students in Atlanta a unique chance to gain access to real estate professionals, analyze real estate opportunities and reimagine how concepts similar to Cortland at the Battery Atlanta – the 531-unit apartment community at Battery Atlanta – could work in underserved areas along the Atlanta BeltLine. Participants in these programs have also had the opportunity to present projects to a Shark Tank-style panel of Cortland real estate executives and Project Destined mentors.

About Project Destined

Project Destined is 501(c)3 non-profit that administers a real estate based applied youth education program designed to promote financial literacy, leadership development and access to mentorship opportunities yielding increased competitiveness of urban youth. Across multiple modules, Project Destined scholars gain exposure to all aspects of the real estate investment life cycle while gaining exposure to real industry professionals, analyzing real opportunities and helping to invest real capital into real estate within their own communities. For more information visit,

About Cortland

Cortland is a product-to-people, multifamily real estate investment, development and management company headquartered in Atlanta. Cortland in-sources its multifamily development, design, construction, renovation, property operations and asset management functions with the goal of providing its residents hospitality-driven living experiences. Cortland is invested in, directly or indirectly, and manages more than 180 apartment communities with over 60,000 homes in the U.S. with regional offices in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston and Orlando. Internationally, Cortland maintains a global materials sourcing office in Shanghai and a management and development platform in the UK. Cortland is a National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) Top 50 Owner and Manager and is ranked 6th among Atlanta’s “Top Workplaces” in the large employer category (2019). For more information, please visit