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By Morgan Mann ’17
On Friday February 5, 2016, Columbia Business School’s Real Estate Association, in partnership with the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, hosted the 7th annual Real Estate Career Forum at the Columbia Club of NY. Despite the snow and difficult weather, over 20 prestigious companies from varying parts of the Real Estate industry attended the Career Forum to meet and exchange information with current Business School students.
The Real Estate Career Forum provides a venue for professionals from leading real estate companies to come together with Columbia Business School students, share vital information about their companies’ strategies and cultures, and build relationships. This event is mutually beneficial to both companies and students, and is now in its seventh year. This year’s event featured 20+ companies and 40+ students on a wintry February morning.
The Career Forum kicked off with a warm welcome addresses from Professor Tomasz Piskorski, Edward S. Gordon Associate Professor of Real Estate and Leanne Lachman, President of Lachman Associates, and Executive-in-Residence at Columbia Business School. Professor Piskorski highlighted the strong academic profile of the current MBA curriculum, calling special attention to the vast realm of previous experience in Real Estate and the cross section of “career-switchers” in the first year program. He suggested that companies be open-minded and receptive to the skillset represented by the career-switchers, and the value that they can bring to each type of organization.
To compliment Professor Piskorski’s message, Leanne Lachman again emphasized the strength of the Real Estate program, adding that many of the second year students have already signed offers for full time employment, thus any current staffing needs should be pursued quickly. She referenced the strong relationship that Columbia Business School and the greater Real Estate community have had in the past years, and suggested a bright outlook for the relationship moving forward into another year of phenomenal growth in the Real Estate sector.
The room buzzed with both students and practitioner discussion, with companies organized at individual tables throughout. Students circulated, made new introductions, as well as reconnecting with companies they had previously met.
Companies represented at the 2016 Career Forum spanned from developers, real estate private equity investors, insurance companies, brokerage firms to commercial banks. Although the day started with a flurry of snow, company representatives and students alike all showed up with excellent attitudes for a successful morning of networking and fostering the strong relationship building.
Morgan Mann ’17 is the AVP of Careers for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. She is a first-year student focusing on real estate finance and development. She received degrees in both Construction Management and Architecture from the University of Washington and previously worked as a Preconstruction Manager for McCarthy Building Co. Inc. in San Francisco, CA.