The Belk College Master of Science in Real Estate program graduated 16 students in the summer of 2017. We asked some of the new alumni about their new jobs, plans, and the effect of their new degrees on their professional careers. Here’s what they had to say:
New Role: Associate Project Manager, CBRE
Teresa joined CBRE in June as Associate Project Manager. She tells us she's learning a lot and rotating between different teams under her platform to gain exposure to various areas. Teresa was part of the disaster response team for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and said it was enlightening to see how prepared CBRE was for this kind of event and how their relationships with vendors played a part in their emergency response. Her connection to CBRE came through fellow student Craig Aulebach, also a project manager at CBRE, who facilitated an introduction to her current director. Teresa's advice to new MSRE students: "Network as much as you can, you never know when you'll meet someone that can help take you to the next step."
New Role: Project Manager, Camp North End
Scott led the program’s Camp North End Seminar Series in September. After spending 30 years in commercial construction, he made a shift to development because he felt it was more rewarding to be involved with original planning and design (for example–he drew plans on napkins and trace paper two years before starting construction on the U.S. National Whitewater Center). Scott needed skills in underwriting, capital markets, real estate law and transaction in order to make a successful transition to development, which MSRE provided in abundance. Scott tells us his MSRE degree set him apart from other candidates, helping him land this new role. He most enjoyed the financial modeling class with Scott Coblentz of South Street Partners, because he is an excel nerd (his words).
Robert (Ben) Cuevas
New Role: Real Estate Development, The Housing Partnership
Ben has a history of working in single-family development planning, project management and dispositions. While he wanted to move into development, he knew he needed formal training and industry contacts. So he began the MSRE program, working full-time while completing his coursework. While pursuing his MSRE, Ben became a member of ULI and its membership committee, which ultimately provided the introduction to the development team at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, a private non-profit organization. Ben chose a position at the Housing Partnership over several other job offers, as a result of his desire to make a positive impact on the Charlotte community. He’s finding he can relate every MSRE class to his current role, but uses his skills from Finance and Investment, Financial Modeling and Development courses the most in his day-to-day work.
New Role: Project Manager, Boehler Engineering
Rad Hudson joined the MSRE program as a professional engineer interested in the client-facing side of the industry. While taking Real Estate Development, Rad made a valuable connection with Industry Instructor and Guest Lecturer, Jim Gamble, Director of Landscape Architecture & Business Development at Bohler. This relationship ultimately led to Rad's new role, now allowing him to play a key role in business development, permitting and design services for clients throughout the Southeast. His MSRE experience has helped him to understand his clients' needs better, which allows him to provide a higher caliber of service. His advice for the new class: “Take full advantage of the networking opportunities and spend time getting to know your classmates. You will all be working in the industry for the next 30+ years–it is nice to make friends along the way!”
New Role: Capital Markets Intern, CBRE
John is currently working as an analyst intern with CBRE's Industrial and Office Investment Sales Group, which he is truly enjoying. This opportunity, he says, is the result of several interactions with CBRE Managing Director and CKCRE Advisory Board Member, Compie Newman, coupled with John's interest in Capital Markets and CBRE's Debt Structured Finance Group. John is considering future career paths in affordable housing, property management, brokerage and private equity. His advice to the new class: "Take advantage of the networking opportunities with the CKCRE Advisory Board, especially if you are new to Charlotte."
New Role: Land Acquisition, Blake Wilder Strategies
Kristen is working on long-term strategy in major markets across the Southeast in her new role at BWS as she completes her MBA at the Belk College of Business. Kristen followed the dual degree path established with UNC Charlotte’s MBA and MSRE programs. She says the value of the MSRE program was in the networking and connections she made with her peers in the program. "The concepts I learned gave me the foundation to be conversationally literate about current trends in commercial real estate, but the networking opportunities provided are what really opened the door to apply what I was learning in the classroom to the field," she said.