Dear Alumni, Board Members and Friends,
The fall semester is in full swing and I am fully immersed in my new role as Associate Director of the Graaskamp Center. I appreciate this opportunity to share a variety of updates and highlights from the Wisconsin Real Estate Program. As many of you know, both Sharon McCabe and Mary Brost retired last spring from the Graaskamp Center and Real Estate Department, respectively. Always ready for a new challenge, I submitted my name for consideration as Associate Director and was thrilled to get offered the role. Miranda Zuo was hired in September as Academic Department Specialist for the Real Estate Department and Bill Camp, formerly EVP & CFO of the Shelter Group and Washington REIT, has joined the Department as a lecturer for the undergraduate and graduate level Real Estate Finance course.
Dean Vallabh “Samba” Sambamurthy started in early August and one of his tasks on his first day was to speak to the Wisconsin Real Estate Program as we embarked upon a strategic planning exercise. Since that time, Samba has traveled and met extensively with alums, board members, faculty, staff and students to share his vision for the WSB while listening intently to the thoughts and concerns from WSB stakeholders.
We are proud to report that a record 527 undergraduate real estate majors are enrolled in the Wisconsin Real Estate Program! Being able to deliver quality classroom and applied learning opportunities to so many students is indeed a challenge and reinforces the need to plan and prepare for the next chapter in the Program. As we move forward with our strategic planning process, one primary focus will be new and better ways to engage and assist our undergraduate students during their time at UW-Madison.
The relaunch of the Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) degree is well underway with seven new MS students enrolled in the program. In addition, we have a total of 12 Real Estate MBA students, and all six of the second-year MBA real estate students returned to campus after completing summer internships across the U.S. Ten of the eleven MBA real estate students that graduated May 2019 have secured full time roles with an average base salary of $101,775 – a 48% salary increase over their pre-MBA enrollment. Additionally, seven Global Real Estate Masters students enrolled this fall arriving here from Seoul, Hong Kong and China.
Industry outreach and lifelong learning continues to be a cornerstone of the Wisconsin Real Estate Program. Recent events include WREAA’s semi-annual Trends Conference in Chicago; the Wisconsin Real Estate and Outlook Conference in Madison and the ninth annual Global Real Estate Markets Conference at the New York Stock Exchange, both hosted by the Graaskamp Center. We are grateful to our board members and alums who helped us offer three unique student field trips for our AREIT, MBA, MS and GREM students during our time in New York.
On the student front, the Real Estate Club recently held its third meeting of the semester featuring Luke Petherbridge, President and CEO of LivCor and ShopCore, following a recent field trip to Denver in late October. Many thanks as well to the dedicated Denver alums and the Real Estate Club co-presidents for organizing the excellent Denver site visits and discussions. At the urging of alums, the first ever Fall Career Fair was held in early September and attracted 45 firms and over 250 undergraduate and graduate students. Many summer internships and full-time employment discussions have ensued with positive feedback secured from participating firms.
Graduate school applications are already flowing in but competition for the best and brightest MBA students has never been greater. We are actively seeking top candidates to apply for the Real Estate MS and MBA, and we need your help to keep our program strong. Please contact me if you have any referrals or questions on how to help.
Like Mark, I earned all of my degrees from UW-Madison so it is wonderful to return to my alma mater to advise students and to interact with alums, faculty and market participants. Having also grown up here, it’s wonderful to be back home and to experience the myriad changes that have occurred here since moving to NYC over 30 years ago. Finally, Tim Riddiough, Joe Walsh, Mark Eppli, Lee Gottschalk and Genie Trewyn have been incredibly welcoming and helpful as I transitioned from 30+ years in the private sector into the university setting.