What do you hope to accomplish this year?
Our biggest focus this year is to reconnect our community after a year of mostly virtual classes and being apart from each other. Some of our goals are to foster conversations around diversity and innovation though a speaker series, build out a toolkit that will better prepare members for the recruitment process, and reengage with the local real estate community by hosting company visits and site tours.
What previous roles did you have in the REA or other student organizations?
Katie: I currently serve as social chair for Cluster E, and during my first year was AVP of Events for the REA.
Dan: Last year I served as an AVP of Careers for the REA. This year I’m continuing to serve as a social chair for Cluster H, Hermes Society Ambassador, and a CMC Career Fellow.
What led you to the MBA Real Estate Program at Columbia Business School?
Katie: Location, location, location. As a career switcher, I wanted to be in the center of the real estate world and take advantage of in-semester internships to strengthen my foundation and help guide my future in the space.
Dan: Being in the real estate industry for 6 years and having a clear goal of how I wanted to pivot my career, the MBA Real Estate program at CBS was the ideal choice for me. The resources provided by the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate (PMC) are unparalleled, the real estate curriculum is one of the most comprehensive out there, and the alumni base is extremely strong and collaborative.
Describe your summer internships. Role, responsibilities, highlights.
Katie: I summered with Welltower in their rotational program (Investments and Capital Markets) in NYC. My role during the investment rotation was underwriting senior housing and active adult developments and acquisitions. During the capital markets rotation, my responsibilities included preparation for our Q2 earnings call. The highlight of my summer was traveling to headquarters for earnings - the MBA interns were able to sit in on the live call with the CEO, CFO, and CIO. The experience of doing meaningful work was extremely impactful, and I look forward to continuing with the team throughout the school year.
Dan: This summer I was at CIM Group working out of their Los Angeles office. I worked on the Investments team and helped with all aspects of the investment process including market research, deal sourcing, and underwriting. I was able to get experience across various asset types, multiple cities, and both equity and debt deals. One highlight for me this summer was being able to intern in-person at the firm’s headquarters where I was able to really get a sense of the culture and develop meaningful relationships with both senior and junior employees. Another highlight for me was working on the firm’s first deal in the United Kingdom, which was a great learning experience. Lastly, living in a new city was also great especially one with such a great climate!
How did your first year at CBS help you prepare for your internship experience?
Katie: My first year at CBS provided me with opportunities to get involved in leadership - sitting on the REA and Cluster E board. Networking and countless conversations with peers and alumni shaped where I aspire to be in the real estate industry following graduation.
Dan: I took time to develop relationships with various CBS staff members at the PMC and Career Center, second year students, and alumni who collectively provided me with sound advice, guidance, and mentorship that ultimately helped prepare me well for my internship.
In what ways do you expect your second year to differ from your first year? Both regarding the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and as your second year in business school generally.
Dan and I want to focus on the future and ensuring that this is the best year possible - the benefits of being in person during our second year will provide countless opportunities for building relationships and collaborative learning.
What is the best thing about living in NYC?
Katie: The endless possibilities - as someone who was a New Yorker before CBS and experienced switching from publishing high-fashion to finance, NYC truly gives you the platform to do anything you put your mind to.
Dan: As a born and raised New Yorker, I love many things about NYC, but my favorite has to be the dynamism of the city, it is like no other!
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Katie: Paris! The monuments and the energy of the city is infectious. Monet’s water lilies is one of my favorites.
Dan: Singapore. As a big fan of architecture, the city-state has some of the most amazing public spaces and buildings, including my favorite, the Marina Bay Sands.
What three words describe you? And what three words describe your co-president?
Katie: I would describe myself as engaging, strategic, and decisive, and Dan as creative, patient, and outgoing.
Dan: I would say I am thoughtful, energetic, and ambitious, and Katie is motivated, resourceful, and fun!