Location: Chicago, IL

Type: Full-time position

Category: Community/Economic Development, Development Finance, Economics/Finance Research

Experience: 1-3 years

SB Friedman is seeking early career professionals to join our growing economic development and real estate advisory team in Chicago. Our ideal candidates are creative, detail-oriented, and analytical minds that are seeing to make positive impacts on communities and the built environment across the country. 

Our Firm

Our team works at the intersection of real estate economics, development finance and urban planning. We work with our clients to establish the plans, strategies, partnerships, and tools to create equitable, economically resilient, and well-designed communities. We work in a variety of places and contexts — which keeps us excited about our work — with a key commonality being that we are working collaboratively with our clients to address complex land use and development issues. We work nationally, with much of our team's work centered around the Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Mountain West regions. We work in a highly collaborative environment, and fund and provide time for training and professional development activities.

Our firm is committed to building a diverse team. Women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Role

Associates are integral parts of our project teams, having ownership over various analyses and deliverables, and collaborating closely with project directors, managers, and clients. Successful Associates are curious critical thinkers that enjoy analyzing data, asking thoughtful questions, drawing reasonable conclusions, and composing compelling narratives and visuals for deliverables. Over time, our Associates develop into increasingly influential thought partners on projects and nearly everyone at the firm started as an Associate. The day-to-day work includes:

  • Gathering and synthesizing quantitative and qualitative data
  • Conducting socioeconomic and demographic analyses
  • Evaluating real estate market potential
  • Estimating unmet housing needs
  • Developing real estate pro formas to assess financial feasibility
  • Preparing tax projections to inform public finance and public-private partnership opportunities
  • Using GIS software to conduct spatial analyses
  • Conducting economic impact analyses
  • Preparing deliverables (presentations, technical memos, graphically oriented briefing books and reports)
  • Working collaboratively with project managers and teams while balancing multiple projects at one time

The Associate position presents an opportunity to build a variety of professional and analytical skill sets.


We are looking for candidates that:

  • Hold a graduate degree in urban planning, real estate development, public policy, business, economics, or a similar field, or hold a bachelor's degree and have relevant professional experience
  • Demonstrate an interest in data-driven analysis and market-based urban planning, public-private partnerships, community and economic development and/or related topics
  • Are detail-oriented and focused on accuracy
  • Have advanced quantitative analysis skills, particularly using Microsoft Excel
  • Demonstrate strength in oral communication, interpersonal skills and writing ability

You will stand out if you have experience with GIS, real estate market and financial feasibility analysis, and have a demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and effectively work with multiple managers. All Associates must be willing to obtain a driver's license within six months of start.

Other Details

We are focused on the professional success of our employees and offer the following:

  • Competitive salary
  • Performance-based bonus compensation
  • Generous benefits packaging, including: company-paid health and dental insurance premiums, 401(k) with employer contribution, flexible spending programs for health and childcare expenses, paid vacation time, paid sick time, paid parental leave, and 11 paid holidays
  • A blend of in-office and work-from-home/remote work
  • Paid membership in one professional organization to encourage professional growth
  • Employer-backed volunteering events taking place in metro Chicago
  • Charitable donation matching program
  • Regular peer-delivered "brown bag" sessions on topics of professional interest
  • Monthly happy hours and staff get-togethers

All applicants will be afforded equal opportunity without discrimination because of race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, ancestry, national origin, genetic information, height, weight, physical or mental disability unrelated to ability, pregnancy, marital status, familial status or responsibilities, parental status, cultural differences, physical appearance, arrest or conviction record, political beliefs, partisan considerations, military status, matriculation, credit information, or any other protected classification under federal, state or local law. To view our firm's Civil Rights Compliance and Affirmative Action Plan, please contact us at

To Apply

Please email the following to Caitlin Johnson at with "Associate Position" in the subject line.

  • Cover letter outlining your interest and qualifications for this role
  • Resume
  • Written sample of your professional or academic work

Writing samples should be primarily authored by the applicant; if a work product prepared as part of a team is submitted, clearly indicate the responsibilities and contributions of the applicant. Incomplete submittals or submittals in other formats may not be considered or reviewed.