- MBA Real Estate Program
- Research & Media
- Areas of Research
- Public Policy Proposals
- Executive Education
What led you to the MBA Real Estate Program at Columbia Business School?
As a career switcher, I was focused on attending a business school where I would have access to great real estate coursework and programming outside of the classroom, as well as a strong network of alumni working within real estate. Given that criteria, Columbia Business School, including the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, became my top choice.
Describe your experience prior to business school.
I spent nearly nine years working in healthcare financial advisory, working with primarily healthcare systems and hospitals on financings, M&A, and strategic engagements. I then took time to travel while exploring my interests in real estate and hospitality, which led to a freelance assignment for a hotel developer based in New York. That experience affirmed that I wanted to pursue real estate long-term and I decided to apply to business school as part of that transition.
Describe the impact the Real Estate Association has on your experience at Columbia Business School.
As someone who had limited formal real estate training and professional experience prior to business school, the Real Estate Association has provided invaluable help in understanding the recruiting process and getting exposure to different areas of real estate. The group is very diverse in terms of background and professional interests so I’ve also enjoyed the social opportunities to get to know the other members. Additionally, CBS alumni, including my mentor through the Real Estate Association, have made time to speak to me about the real estate industry, their careers, and approaching my goals, which has helped me feel personally supported throughout my time at CBS.
Are you a member of student organizations other than the Real Estate Association? If so, which?
I am an AVP of Treks for the Hospitality and Travel Association, AVP of Community and Events for the Hispanic Business Association, and a Social Chair for my cluster. I’m also a member of the Black Business Students Association and Wine Society. In addition, I’m a Toigo Fellow and this summer will be working at a real estate private equity firm founded by a former Fellow.
What events or speakers have been most meaningful or impactful to you while in business school?
Recently, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel for Black History Month discussing issues around urban real estate development in partnership with the Black Business Students Association, Real Estate Association, and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. I’ve never done anything like that before and the opportunities to leave your comfort zone are some of the best and most important parts of business school. Speakers that have been impactful to me include world-renowned chef Ferran Adrià, and Standard International CEO, Amar Lalvani, who both process the world and are creative in such interesting ways. Both inspired me to dream bigger about my career. Lastly but certainly not least, attending CBS Matters and getting to know my classmates in a meaningful way has been a privilege.
How has your first year at CBS prepared you for your summer internship?
Getting back into learning mode after over a decade out of school has been great preparation for the type of learning curve and balancing act of tasks that I expect will be a part of my summer internship. While I’m just beginning my real estate coursework at CBS this semester, the programming from the REA and the Paul Milstein Center has helped familiarize me with technical aspects of real estate, as well as current trends in the industry through panels and conferences.
How do you define and measure success?
Doing well by doing good. My mother’s career has always been in service and advocacy for others, initially in social work and currently for a union. No matter how busy she is, she has always made time to help family, including raising my brother and I, friends, neighbors, and different communities. As a result, success for me encompasses being proud of the work I do and how my work and my behavior affects others.
What is your favorite restaurant in NYC?
I grew up in NYC and trying different cuisines has always been one of my favorite activities so it’s hard to pick one place. For a celebration, I enjoy Wolfgang’s Steakhouse on Park Avenue, and for an elegant, traditional sushi experience, Hirohisa in the West Village.
What three words best describe you?
Dependable, determined, insatiable
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
I hope to be acquiring and developing properties, including hotels that reflect my love of different cultures and the ways that spaces can facilitate bringing disparate groups together.