Location: San Francisco, CA
Prior Degrees: Colorado College - B.S. in Environmental Policy; UC Berkeley Extension - Graduate Certificate in Construction Management
Pre-MRED+D Position: Assistant Project Manager, Nibbi Brothers
Post-MRED+D Position: Development Manager, Prologis
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate education in real estate?
Prior to the MRED+D program, I worked for a general contractor in San Francisco. My last project focused on the adaptive reuse of historic industrial buildings at Pier 70. I learned a lot about working with the City and Port of San Francisco and the negotiations that went into the Development Agreement with the master developer. This experience further fostered my interest in real estate development. I decided to pursue a master's degree in real estate development because I wanted to be part of the upfront decision making process. My time working for a general contractor and executing the vision of a building was invaluable experience, but I wanted to move to the development side to make the decisions on what to build, where to build it, and when.
What about the UC Berkeley Abbey Master of Real Estate Development + Design attracted to you to the program?
I was laser focused on real estate development, and the one-year program was extremely attractive to me. UC Berkeley has a very impressive and extremely engaged alumni network throughout the real estate industry, and it was easy to jump at the chance to learn from some of the best practitioners out there.
What was your favorite MRED+D class?
My favorite class was Land Development Law & Regulations. California, and the Bay Area in particular, are extremely difficult places to get projects entitled, and I am so glad I was exposed to the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) process and learned all about the intricate web of approvals projects in California have to go through in this class.
Please share your favorite memory from your time in the program.
My favorite memory was winning the NAIOP Golden Shovel competition. Our team worked tirelessly for four months straight and put together a development proposal to redevelop a high school in Napa. The competition forced us to think through a lot of the challenges of a real-life development project, and it exposed us to many real estate professionals in the area. It was the most challenging time I experienced in the program, and it felt very good to come out of it with a win and recognition of our hard work.
Tell us about your current role, and how the Abbey MRED+D prepared you for it.
As a development manager, I focus on acquisitions, development and construction of ground-up industrial projects in the Bay Area. I joined Prologis right after graduation, and it has been an extremely fast-paced start. I am working on a handful of urban infill sites, which has allowed me to help shape the strategy for complex entitlement approvals in the face of changing market dynamics. The Land Development Law & Regulations class highlighted above was useful. Everything Amanda Monchamp & Paula Kirlin warned us about came true.
What do you hope achieve professionally in the next 5 years?
I hope to expand my experience beyond the Bay Area. I hope to take the lessons learned here to other markets. I want to strive to be at the forefront of the industrial sector and work with cutting-edge companies that are moving the market and entire economy to a brighter future.
What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing the Abbey MRED+D at UC Berkeley?
To take advantage of the Abbey MRED+D program's unique opportunity to learn from industry experts in an intimate setting at the pace in which the industry itself operates. Real estate development is about anticipating and adapting in real time, and the one-year program gives students practice in being efficient and strategic with their time. UC Berkeley's real estate network is robust and extremely engaged, and the program will give you exposure to some of the top professionals in the industry.