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Former soccer player’s competitive spirit earns him Midwest real estate scholarship

As a Harold E. Eisenberg Real Estate Scholar, Luke Lonneman will meet with his mentor regularly, attend behind-the-scenes field trips and... As a Harold E. Eisenberg Real Estate Scholar, Luke Lonneman will meet with his mentor regularly, attend behind-the-scenes field trips and receive a $5,000 scholarship. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University. From defending goals to striking deals, Luke Lonneman is taking his passion and competitive spirit to real estate. As a junior at IUPUI, Lonneman is already finding his stride as one of this year’s esteemed Harold E. Eisenberg Real Estate Scholars. He is one of six students chosen from universities across the Midwest and only the second in history to come from Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus.

Lonneman’s journey in real estate started as his dreams of playing soccer came to an end. As a goalkeeper on IUPUI’s men’s soccer team, he was proud to play Division I soccer for the Jaguars, but he was ready to pursue a new passion.

“Real estate wasn’t always in my path when I came into college; I only saw soccer,” he said. “That’s what I committed here for, so when I decided to step down from the team at the end of last year, I was kind of lost.

Luke Lonneman in goal during an IUPUI men's soccer game. Photo by IUPUI Athletics Luke Lonneman in goal during an IUPUI men's soccer game. Photo by IUPUI Athletics“I talked with my athletic academic advisor and he asked, ‘What is something that interests you?’ and that’s when I had a kick in my head that was real estate. I took Introduction to Real Estate Analysis, met professor Sara (Coers) and found something I knew I wanted to be a part of.”

As a business management major at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, Lonneman was already in the business realm, but real estate was introduced to him as a kid. He grew up in Fishers, and his friends’ parents were in real estate. It was something he admired about them but hadn’t considered as a career path for himself until now.

“These are people that I’ve been around a lot my whole life, and they’re really cool people,” he said. “I’ve always been told that the real estate industry has some great people, and I’m a believer that as long as I’m working with my friends or somebody that I can have a genuine conversation with, I’m going to enjoy it.”

Now, Lonneman is a leader among his peers, serving as co-president of the Real Estate Club at IUPUI. That opportunity came as a suggestion from his professor, Sara Coers, who also nominated him for the Eisenberg Scholar program.

“Luke has an exceptional level of motivation and engagement and is deeply committed to our real estate program,” Coers said.

“He is a natural leader, a people person, and he thrives on connection. The Eisenberg Scholar program is built around learning through networking and experiences, and I knew that Luke was not only worthy of the program, but someone who would fully embrace it and use the program as a launchpad for future success.”

The program will partner Lonneman with a “super mentor” who is a leader in real estate in the greater Chicago area. He will meet with his mentor regularly, attend behind-the-scenes field trips, travel for the ICSC Las Vegas conference and receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Each Midwestern university nominates five students to be considered for the program, and only six total are chosen to participate. Lonneman took the process on as a competition. He prepared for the interview, received recommendation letters and came away with his biggest win yet.

“I got the email, and within minutes I was contacted by a bunch of really cool people,’” Lonneman said. “I got a letter written to me from President Whitten, and then Sara texted me something that I’ll never forget. She said ‘Your life is about to get a little crazier. I cannot describe to you the magnitude of this achievement. The trajectory of your life and career is about to change forever.”

It’s a victory that is propelling him on a new path. His time that was once spent on the pitch is now dedicated to a new passion of networking, business and, most importantly, people. And as he begins his work as an Eisenberg Scholar, there is much more to come.

“It’s a 10-month-long mentorship, and it’s something that I don’t want to just last 10 months; I want to have these connections for the rest of my life,” Lonneman said.

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