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The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate sat down with incoming Real Estate Association (REA) co-Presidents Aditya Jain ’19 and Robin Lore ’19 to learn more about what brought them to the MBA Real Estate Program at Columbia Business School, into leadership positions in the REA, and beyond! Read more to get the inside scoop on the lives of Adi and Robin!
What inspired you each to run for co-president of the REA, and how did you decide to join up as a team?
Aditya Jain: The REA is a beautiful organization. It perfectly blends all aspects of real estate, offering members deep dives into the world of real estate development, private equity, banking, brokerage and investment management. The REA gives members a chance to travel the world, meet dozens of companies, continue their education, participate in case competitions and form lifelong friendships.
The REA and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate have given me so much over my first year at CBS. My mind floods with happy memories including signing our names on a beam at One Vanderbilt, touring the Airbnb headquarters in San Francisco, and having a close-up interview with billionaire Ronnie Chan in Hong Kong—I would never have had these experiences if it wasn’t for the REA.
Robin Lore: One of the biggest reasons that I chose to come to CBS was the REA. My expectations were high when I started my MBA last year and my experience with the REA over the year absolutely shattered those expectations. I was blown away by the volume and range of events organized by the REA, but I was most impressed with the quality of events and my fellow students in the club.
AJ: I ran for co-president to ensure that the remarkable students who join the REA can always count on help for their future careers and continued education, and hopefully get a taste of what makes the organization so amazing. As for my co-president Robin Lore, we are essentially twins living parallel lives at CBS, and it felt like the most natural idea to team up and run.
RL: Adi and I became good friends over the year, largely due to our involvement in the REA, and by the time spring break came around, we realized that we wanted to lead this exceptional club for the 2018-2019 school year.
What do you hope to accomplish this year?
AJ: This year, we hope to continue all the great work the REA does, with several new initiatives. We plan to collaborate more with the MSRED program. We encourage REA students to take a couple of classes at GSAPP, and we had significantly higher interest in the development conference in September this year. We also want incoming career switchers can get up to speed quickly, so we will have Excel and Argus trainings, industry overviews and technical interview training through superchargers. In addition, we hope to foster a sense of community through various lunch and learns, alumni breakfasts, socials and treks.
RL: In addition to improving the educational resources provided to students, we are also focused on creating more opportunities to meet and network with industry professionals in smaller settings. We are launching a series of focused small excursions with real estate companies. The number of attendees will be limited in order to create a more informal and personal dialogue compared to the larger speaker series that we already host.
What previous roles did you have in the REA or other student organizations?
RL: I was an AVP on the REA Trips team and helped organize the domestic treks to San Francisco and Miami as well as the Chazen trip to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Organizing and attending this trips was one of the best educational experiences I’ve had at CBS (and not to mention, some of the most fun experiences as well!) In addition to my REA role, I was also the Academic Rep for Cluster E’19 and directed and performed with Follies.
AJ: While I was not on the REA board during my first year at CBS, I enthusiastically participated in every REA event I could! Besides the REA, I was the International Representative for my cluster, leading me to a deeper understanding of the H1B visa, the O1 visa and the EB5 funding program, as these issues affected me personally. I also dedicated a lot of time to Follies, and I’m sure one of these days I can convince them to produce a musical centered around a developer who fights the zoning board to add a floor to his skyscraper. I call it “West Side Story.”
What led you to the MBA Real Estate Program at Columbia Business School?
AJ: I applied to several top schools with amazing MBA programs, and I’ve spoken a lot about all the resources available at CBS for students interested in real estate. Additionally, my wife and I were applying to schools together; she was looking for dental programs which would allow her to practice in the US. We took out a map of the US and planned our applications, so we could move to the same city: either New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. When she got admitted into NYU and I got into Columbia, it just made perfect sense.
RL: It was the real estate program that led to me Columbia Business School. In my opinion, CBS has the strongest offering for students focused on real estate in terms of academics, clubs, the Paul Milstein Center and its New York location. I had spent almost my entire life in Canada so being in New York was the perfect starting point for launching a real estate career in the US.
Describe your summer internship. Role, responsibilities, highlights.
AJ: I spent 10 weeks interning at CIM in Los Angeles, as an AVP in their investment team. CIM is truly a phenomenal company, investing across the capital stack in office, retail, multifamily, hotels and infrastructure in over 100 qualified investment communities. The experience was exactly what I was looking for.
RL: I spent my summer interning at PGIM Real Estate. I spent the first half in acquisitions working on their equity capital markets team, which focuses on alternative assets classes within real estate and across the US. As a summer associate, I was exposed to the entire acquisition process from reviewing the OM, building out acquisition models, writing deal summaries. While none of my deals made it to investment committee during my five weeks on this team, one of the highlights of this rotation was seeing the in-depth preparation that went into these meetings and the debates that would unfold around an acquisition. The second half was spent in asset management on of their value-add funds and my responsibilities were to analyze underperforming assets in anticipation of their disposition, as well as helping with budgets and valuations.
How did your first year at CBS help you prepare for your internship experience?
RL: Although I had worked in real estate prior to CBS, I was a newcomer to New York and the CBS community was instrumental in helping me build a network in the real estate industry here. The second year students that I met through the REA connected me to professionals in the industry and helped me prepare for interviews. As well, the Paul Milstein Center did a great job of bringing in a wide range of speakers that helped narrow down exactly what I wanted to pursue for my internship and connect me with alumni as well.
AJ: A lot of preparation was through resources provided by the REA, the PMC and the Career Management Center. I sharpened my modeling skills through Excel and Argus trainings sponsored by the REA. My Global Real Estate Markets class with Professor Camille Douglas and my Real Estate Portfolio Management class with Professor Michael Giliberto were also extremely useful. And finally, I attended a lot of panels and events put on by the Paul Milstein Center and the MSRED at GSAPP to learn more about the state of the real estate industry.
In what ways do you expect your second year to differ from your first year?
AJ: I expect the second year to be even more fun than the first! The year started off terrifically with a behind-the-scenes look at orientation as a Peer Advisor for Cluster H 20. Robin and I will also be going for a life-changing retreat with 50 other students in October through the Personal Leadership and Success course with Professor Hitendra Wadhwa. I look forward to my Real Estate Entrepreneurship and Transactions courses, and I plan to further deepen the connections I’ve made with alumni over the year. I plan to travel more as well, through the Chazen program. I am also hoping to lead a group through a Global Immersion trek to the UAE in the Spring as a Teaching Assistant (fingers crossed).
RL: I think the biggest difference is that now that I understand what life at CBS is like, I am much better at prioritizing my time. As everybody at CBS likes to say, starting off is like drinking from a firehose and now I know which clubs, classes, recruiting opportunities, and trips that I want to dedicate time to. If first year is about exploring everything and figuring out what you like, second year is about honing in on that passion.
What is the best thing about living in NYC?
AJ: From a career perspective, there is really no better city to live in than New York. I have access to hundreds of alumni at major real estate firms in the city and unparalleled opportunities for learning through site visits to developments such as Essex Crossing and Hudson Yards. Being a foodie, I also get to try out new restaurants all over the city!
RL: I can’t imagine a better place to be for recruiting and exploring career opportunities than New York. From a personal standpoint, there are always fun and random events in the city and being in such a tourist hotspot means that I get way more visitors than I would if I was going to business school anywhere else!
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
AJ: Georgia (the country). I absolutely loved the city of Tbilisi, it’s picturesque and full of life, with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Georgia also holds special memories because I got married there! We had 250 wedding guests fly down to Tbilisi from around the globe, and had a spectacular time exploring the country. This was one of the first Indian weddings that the city had ever hosted, and our guests had an unforgettable experience.
RL: I attended the Mongolia Chazen trip in May and had an unforgettable experience. While not a real estate trip, I was fascinated by the rapid growth of Ulaanbaatar and how the government has dealt (or not dealt) with the immense wave of urbanization. Highlights of the trip included meeting the Mongolian president, horseback riding around a giant frozen lake that borders Russia, and climbing sand dunes in the Gobi Desert.
What three words describe you? And what three words describe your co-president?
AJ: Three words that describe me: Resourceful, Enthusiastic, Adventurous
Three words that describe Robin: Persistent, Motivated, Confident
RL: Three words that describe me: Creative, Curious, Resourceful
Three words that describe Adi: Energetic, Passionate, Creative