The University of Miami’s Real Estate Impact Conference provided students with the opportunity to meet industry leaders, network with professionals in their respective fields of interest, and witness how the lessons they learned in their classrooms could be applicable in a professional setting.
The conference was a joint project by the University of Miami’s School of Architecture and School of Business Administration. The conference was also open to business graduate students, and architecture graduate students with a concentration in real estate.
Andrea Heuson, a professor in the finance department at UM’s School of Business Administration, believes the event helped students meet leaders in the field.
“We use things like this conference to introduce our students to the real estate community,” she said. “The university has recently risen in rankings and sometimes it’s hard to put a face to the improvement in rankings without meeting the students.”
Through this event, students were also able to meet industry leaders and listen to their personal experiences and opinions on the industry.
“Networking isn’t as easy as it sounds, and I think the conference was a great opportunity to go out there and practice it as much as possible,” said Noelle McCutcheon, a business graduate student. “I was also able to talk to various people at the conference about a project I did and get feedback on it.”
In addition to networking, students were also able to learn about real estate trends and topics.
The event’s keynote speaker was Sam Zell, a leader in the real estate and private equity fields. Zell has a networth of $4.7 billion, and sits at No. 66 in Forbes’ 400 list. He has been a leader in the industries for more than 40 years.
In his speech, he provided insight on real estate trends and ideas.
“Zell voiced his opinion on what he thought but in a humorous way; it’s not often you get to hear what a leader in the industry personally thinks on these issues,” said Ilya Gamer, a business graduate student.
The conference helped empower students with knowledge that enabled them to not only broaden their academic knowledge, but also obtain internships.
“I met the manager of where I was applying for an internship at the conference and when I mentioned that during the interview they were impressed,” said Jeremy Mizraji, a graduate student who is interning at J.P. Morgan Chase in the acquisitions department. “I think it was essential to getting the job. It also helped me understand more about the industry.”
The next Real Estate Impact Conference is scheduled to take place on Feb. 22, 2013 at 600 Brickell Ave.