Undergraduate Team again shows well at USC Case Competition

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 (curtis.sears@colorado.edu).

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