Real Estate Students Compete in Exclusive International Case Competition
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 5:31PM
Real Estate

Students from Leeds took part in an invitation—only real estate competition hosted by the University of Southern California. The International competition featured only nine schools with the best real estate programs in the country competing for the top spot.

This year’s team included four seniors and two juniors:

  • Toby Kropp - Finance/Real Estate/Philosophy `17
  • Nick Pepper - Finance/Real Estate `17
  • Garrett Russell - Architecture/Environmental Design/Real Estate `17
  • Breanna Williams - Finance/Real Estate/Leadership Studies `17
  • Diego Elousa - Finance/Real Estate `18
  • Dustin Braham - Finance/Real Estate `18

  • Leeds has competed in every year of the competition since 2005 and won the championship in 2013. The other schools that received invitations this year were the National University of Singapore, University of Auckland, University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, Villanova University, Ohio State University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Southern California. This year’s winner was the University of Southern California.

    “I am very impressed with the outstanding job our students did both in the months leading up; preparing for this competition as well as their abilities at the event,” said Curtis Sears, a senior instructor and case competition coach. “We love the kinds of learning opportunities that these case competitions provide. We know that competitive experiences help produce exceptional professionals and we’re happy to see the effort that they put into this competition.”

    The Leeds team even had to compete for their positions on the team. Interested students were invited to present to Curtis Sears and Real Estate Center Director, Mike Kercheval. The candidates selected by Curtis and Mike were the ones with the best mix of soft and hard skills in presentations, analytics, critical thinking, material preparation. Most importantly, the students demonstrated having complementary talents across the six-person team. For the past several months, this team met with their advisor every week for three hours to go over other case competitions examples to prepare them for this year’s event.

    “These case competitions are critical to giving our students experiential opportunities to solve real-world problems. We know how valuable practical experience can be for students to hone their skills and gain the knowledge necessary to be prepared professionals after graduation,” added Mike Kercheval, Director of the Real Estate Center at the Leeds.

    A subset of this case competition group is expected to start preparing for the Cornell International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Real Estate Case Competition in May, held at ICSC’s massive real estate convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    To learn more about the Real Estate Center and other Leeds academic centers of excellence, visit

    Article originally appeared on CU Real Estate Center (
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