1. Make relationships with everyone in the Berkeley real estate community. Send at least 2 emails per week to ensure you’re spreading your network bandwidth as wide as possible. 2. Take advantage of events and electives (these expand your network tenfold and widen thinking–even more than the core curriculum)! 3. Focus hard on the technical skills earlier in the program. Thus, save formal interviews until towards the end.
U.S. Army Soldier in the 101st Airborne Division
Development and Acquisition Analyst, Greystar
The military gave me firsthand insights into how national and microeconomic policy decisions impact real people and communities. That formative period in my life gave me the confidence to deal with various constituents simultaneously to accomplish any mission at hand. I was fortunate to attend undergrad while full-time in the Army. I’ve always been fascinated with architecture, cities, and urban economics. I pursued a real estate focused graduate degree to streamline my career to play in the “real estate big leagues,” gain requisite functional knowledge on design and land use matters, and expand my skills in real estate finance. During my final years completing my B.S. degree, I planned out my corporate career to become a big-league real estate investor–which Berkeley got me to.
I was attracted to UC Berkeley by the interdisciplinary focus on finance, sustainability, and social equity. Having a successful career is important to me, so coming to Cal and getting those strong pillars as a foundation made me feel like it would give me the best chance to be successful sooner.
Advanced Real Estate Finance (RDEV 225)–I really enjoyed the case study method, which helped in analyzing rent rolls, operating expenses, end-consumer economics, and capitalization rates from such a dynamic instructor (Carl Shannon).
I really learned how to think deeply about the built world from Cal’s MRED+D program. Many folks in our industry think about real estate as a fee simple collection of cash flows, whereas Berkeley teaches real estate through a first-principles, design thinking, and constant iteration approach. I went to investment committee my first day at Greystar. Deals from all over the U.S. were being presented. I was pleasantly appalled to see our CEO (Bob Faith) and other investment committee members challenging Associates on deal-level terms and nuances. I appreciated the professional rigor to ensure clear execution was being made to mitigate risks often associated with property development.
Become a Director at Greystar, and be heavily involved in the prop-tech space from an entrepreneurship and investor lens.