What led you to the MBA Real Estate Program at Columbia Business School?
The incredible alumni, professors, students, and Paul Milstein Center leaders who championed the program and their experiences. I found that so many friend and colleagues I admired were CBS alums or had strong ties to the program. That made the choice obvious and CBS was the only school I considered as a result.
Describe your experience prior to business school.
Prior to CBS, my career was a non-linear combination of real estate roles at the intersection of the public and private sectors. Most recently, I worked in Development at CIM Group, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment group and private equity firm. Prior to CIM, I served as the Special Assistant to Carl Weisbrod, the Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission for the first term of the de Blasio administration. I began my career structuring public-private real estate partnerships for HR&A Advisors and servicing commercial real estate loans at PB Capital.
Describe the impact the Real Estate Association (REA) has on your experience at Columbia Business School.
As early as Connect II, the REA was an immediate touchpoint to classmates who shared my interests and could guide me through the available resources. Now at CBS, I have made wonderful friendships and continue to be constantly learning from and exposed to new ideas through the REA.
Are you a member of student organizations other than the Real Estate Association? If so, which?
I’m a proud Cluster D20 Dragon. I am active in Columbia Women in Business, Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization, CBS Innovation & Design, Arts Society, the Family Business Club, Cluster Q, the Government and Business Club and the Social Enterprise Club. I joined about 15 clubs in typical 1st year enthusiasm but it’s impossible to attend everything!
What events or speakers have been most meaningful or impactful to you while in business school?
The exposure we have to a diverse group of civic and professional leaders who are affecting positive change in their communities is unparalleled. I was moved by Andrew Yang’s talk about founding Venture for America and his 2020 presidential campaign. Additionally, Sallie Krawcheck gave a meaningful CBS Matters how her history led her to her latest venture empowering women investors.
To that effect, CBS Matters is one of the most special events we have. I am constantly inspired by and in awe of my classmates. Personal storytelling is so powerful. The culture of honesty and empathy present at CBS Matters blows me away every time.
How has your first year at CBS prepared you for internship recruiting?
Competing in (and winning!) The CASE Competition with REA second years Oscar Henschel, Taylor Pierce and Kevin Cullen was helpful for so many reasons. It kept my skills sharp, my head in the market and the experience has been a great talking point! They were interviewing for full-time jobs during the process and hearing about their experiences prepared me for my own interviews.
What is the best thing about living in NYC?
Everything! I love NYC. The energy, the vibrant mix of cultures, the food, you name it. I grew up in New York and worked here for five years before moving to LA. I am so happy to be back with my family and friends.
Who is your hero? (personal or professional, or both)
My mother, Helen Nitkin. She runs a real estate investment and development company she founded 35 years ago with my late father. As the child of a lawyer and urban planner/broker turned developers I’ve been surrounded by the industry my whole life. Now an adult and in the industry, I recognize what a force she is and I feel so fortunate to learn from her personally professionally every day.
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
This summer I summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro with 11 classmates on the CBS World Tour. The month we spent around the trek in Morocco, Kenya and Tanzania was unbelievable!
What three words best describe you?
Curious, active, loyal