The RE Certificate Program continues to show solid growth. The real estate seniors are breaking our record as our largest senior class of 94 students. Ten of them are graduating in December 2016 and the other 84 will be enrolled in the 2017 spring RE Internship class. Here’s a breakdown of what they are studying in addition to the Real Estate Certificate.
Overall, we currently have a total of 141 seniors, juniors and sophomores signed up to earn the Real Estate Certificate including 40 young women. This fall we are offering 6 sections of real estate classes (Principles, Finance, Law and Development) and have filled 320 seats with interested students.
Co-Curricular Events this Academic Year - In addition to the bi-weekly meetings of the RE Club with outstanding industry speakers, construction site tours and Habitat for Humanity service projects, the Center offers a large number of co-curricular activities. Every fall we have a basic Excel training class for 6 weeks (non-credit) plus an advanced Excel for real estate analysis workshop in early December.
The undergraduate club is organizing an industry association night in early November. We should have 14 or so associations present (ULI, NAIOP, CREW, etc) to talk to students about student memberships and events. The graduate real estate students (MBA/MS) will be invited, too.
Job Placement for the May and August 2016 Grads - Job placement this past spring and summer was very successful with a 93% placement rate for the real estate seniors who were looking for employment. Newly minted graduates are working for CBRE (Denver), Marcus & Millichap (Chicago and San Diego), Prologis, King Soopers Real Estate Division, United Properties, Broe RE Group, Conscience Bay, Rare Space, Prior and Associates, Bellweather Asset Management (LA), Ruschmeyer Corporation, Inverness Properties, McCaffrey Interests and Berland Development Group among others.
Thank you to all of the companies that have placed our graduate students and graduates into internships and permanent jobs this year!
The CU Real Estate Center will again be sending teams of undergrad real estate students to several real estate case competitions this year. A couple of years ago we only participated in one event – the USC International Real Estate Case Competition each spring semester. Last year we participated in three events, and this year the plan is to add a fourth competition.
This year’s case competitions open with the Sherman Miller Real Estate Competition later in the fall semester. This event enters its third year and pits teams from CU, CSU and DU fighting it out over instate bragging rights. CU won the inaugural event in 2014, but placed second to CSU in last year’s event. CU plans to return to its winning ways as DU hosts the event for the first time on November 4th.
First up in the spring semester will be the new event for CU – the Villanova Real Estate Challenge. Just a couple of weeks later comes the international competition at USC. And the final event will be the retail case competition hosted by Cornell at ICSC’s annual RECon convention in Las Vegas in May. As you can see, there’s no rest for the weary during our spring semesters.
These case competitions give our students a fantastic opportunity to take what they have learned and are continuing to learn in the classroom and put it all together in a “real life” application. It is not only very challenging and rewarding in itself, we’ve found it gives our students a major advantage as they enter the industry with experience in organizing, analyzing and presenting complex real estate investment and development deals.
Our participation in these events would not be possible without ongoing support from our Council Members and other industry partners. Thank you!
A team of six Leeds undergraduate real estate students again travelled to Southern California in April to compete at the annual USC International Real Estate Case Competition. CU continued to show well in the competition against the best undergraduate real estate programs from around the country and the world.
CU competed against the National University of Singapore, University of Auckland, University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, Villanova, Ohio State University, Southern Methodist University and USC. U.S. News ranks Wisconsin, USC and Texas #2, #5 and #6 nationally for undergrad real estate programs. Wisconsin won the competition just beating out the Buffs according to the panel of industry professionals who judge the competition. Team members included Megan Turner, Dalton Skach, Ell Johnston, Sam Arthur, Katya Golynko and Toby Kropp. All are seniors or juniors earning their Real Estate Certificates at Leeds.
The students audition for the team and then work throughout the semester with faculty, past team members and industry professionals honing their analytical and presentations skills. Each week the team is given a real estate case including financial, economic, market, legal and political assumptions. The team then analyzes the case and presents their recommendations concerning the project. The complexity of the cases and sophistication of the analysis are remarkable for the undergraduate level and push the students to new heights, requiring them to draw on and integrate much of what they’ve learned at Leeds.
The real estate case competition experience represents the best of active, experiential learning at Leeds. “The case competition experience was fantastic…I now have the ability and confidence to analyze and present real-life real estate deals to real investors.” said team member Katya Golynko. Team member Toby Kropp agreed saying “Being part of the case competition team taught me skills that apply to real life situations, enhanced my professional network and created lifelong friendships.”
“Competing toe-to-toe against the best undergrad real estate programs year after year shows how our students and program stack up against the very best programs in the country.” said Curtis Sears, Senior Instructor in the real estate program at Leeds. “Every year we’re in the hunt at USC and it’s having a major impact on our program both internally and beyond the walls at Leeds. The opportunity to participate in these case competitions is part of the energy and excitement that is fueling tremendous growth in the real estate program at Leeds…over sixty students will earn their Real Estate Certificate this year at Leeds…more than double the number of just a few years ago. And the consistent performance and success of our teams at USC has caught the attention of others as we’ve recently been invited to participate in two new competitions for CU: a competition hosted by Cornell University at the upcoming ICSC RECon convention in Las Vegas, and an annual competition hosted by Villanova University in Philadelphia each spring.”
A key to the experience and success of the CU teams is the participation of industry experts and CU Real Estate Center Council members who help coach the students. Special thanks to the past team members and industry professionals who helped coach this year’s team including Evan Austin, Mark Christ, Courtney Colbert, Brett Erb, Joe Faller, Colleen Gawey, Richard Hall, Tripp Howell, Paul Kluck, Sam Makings, Bill Mark, Joe Markman, Leon McBroom, Brian Monahan, Kyle Rhatigan, Matt Riach, Jake Rome, George Ryan, Nick Schoon, Nolan Smith, Kim Sperry, Mary Sullivan, Drew Thomas, Abby Vollmer and Jeff Wingert. Thanks also to Denee Janda, a speech and presentation coach who also works with the team over the semester.
For more information concerning the CU Real Estate Center’s involvement in the USC International Real Estate Case Competition and other competitions, contact Curtis Sears (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As I conclude my duties as Interim Executive Director, I want to take the opportunity to sincerely thank the faculty, staff, council members, board members, and administration for their support over the last year. The CU Real Estate Center is fortunate to have so many supporters, at all levels, who are committed to making the Center one of the leading Centers of Excellence at the University of Colorado, and also one which is very highly regarded by the industry with which it is aligned. It has been an honor to fill in after the loss of our dear friend, Sherman Miller, and I, like you, am excited to have our new Executive Director, Mike Kercheval, step in and take the Center to new heights.
Since last June, we have been able to continue our historical program trends of very high student placement rates and satisfaction, and have provided great programs and networking opportunities to our various stakeholders and alumni. Last fall, we undertook our first stakeholder survey, learned that we are performing well, doing the right things, and that all stakeholders want to see the Center grow in both scope and stature. Our Annual Forum was well-attended and highly successful, and we have undertaken a serious look at our membership/sponsorship structure, with the end goal to increase involvement and minimize the multiple asks that have become burdensome in the past. We sponsored our second Student Trek, visiting the San Francisco area with twenty undergraduate and graduate students who visited ten firms over three days, to great reviews by the both the students and our sponsoring companies. We hired Stephen Billings as a new Associate Professor, who will start in August, and who will pick up the additional burden which had been shouldered by Tom Thibodeau and the rest of the faculty since the departure of Liang Peng last spring. And, of course, we undertook an extensive Executive Director search process, headed by Tom Thibodeau, which resulted in hiring Mike Kercheval. Mike will be stepping in to the Executive Director role after a highly successful career in the private sector, and as the long-time head of ICSC where he achieved great success in growing that organization and its support base. Please welcome Mike as he starts his new role on July 1.
All-in-all, the past year has been a solid period one for the Center, and one that has helped position us for a great future. Thank you all for your past and continuing support of the CU Real Estate Center. I look forward to seeing all of you at one of our future events!
Kim J. Koehn
Interim Executive Director