Military to RE via MBA

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for some help with career/recruiting planning.

I was a naval officer for 9 years and I'm headed to Ross for an MBA in the fall in hopes of transitioning to a real estate career. My undergrad was engineering back in 2010 and I have no finance/real estate work experience. I studied urban planning at George Washington University last year and gained a good understanding of zoning, entitlements, placemaking...., but I decided the MBA was a more practical route to RE since I could get a strong finance education.

I'll probably focus my recruiting at large real estate companies like Related or a REIT like Edens (I'm in DC btw), but I want a parallel recruiting plan in case that doesn't work out. I've come to the conclusion that REPE is probably out of the question directly out of the MBA and probably is still a long shot even if I did I-banking for 2 years.

Is being an REIB Associate a good start for someone wanting to work in real estate development/investment? I'm concerned the analysis will be at the company level instead of the asset level and I may not get the right experience? Is REIB more at the asset-level at Eastdil as opposed to BB banks?

Are their other banking roles that would prep you for a real estate career that would have a better life-work balance than IB?

Are their opportunities at the large brokerages (CBRE, JLL, Eastdil) that make sense for a MBA grad? (investment sales, capital markets, REIB?)

Thanks in advance everyone - any insight is appreciated!

You can do anything with your MBA and your service record, thank you by the way. My half-brother is a SWO based in Italy.

REPE and REIB are perfect destinations for you. Network well and the rest should take care of itself. I don't think you will need to work for a brokerage unless you want to. You appear to have a good story and obviously being in DC will help with your background. Best of luck.

Edit: larger institutions (banks, large developers, megafunds, etc) usually will have a veteran program meant for people in your position. Highly recommend looking into them.

A few EVP - market leaders in our firm were former grads of service academies then did top ranked MBAs entered RE development at big name firms right out of MBA. It is very doable to go direct to REPE/development, etc. The GWU coursework won't hurt at all, I think those in my firm had engineering UG as well (isn't that all they like do at the academies !?!).

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