Acq. & Dev. Analyst (Condos/Apartments) ---> MBA OR MS----> Opportunistic REPE?

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I am a first year acquisition and development analyst at a well-known development company. I work in the condo/apartment group underwriting deals in 4 major markets and am gathering research to enter a 5th. My experience has been great so far, but I am also looking towards my future goals and what I want to achieve. My current goal is to work at a large REPE shop/Asset Manager performing debt/equity investments in real estate developments.

Over the next couple of months I plan to start studying for the GRE and GMAT, but am wondering if I should focus on a MBA or MS's? Some advice I received is I should do REIB for a summer then transition into REPE, but I don't have an interest in underwriting portfolios - I like specific deal investing.

Can anyone shed light on how what program I should enter? How long should I wait before applying? Is 26-27 too late? I've only been in my position for 7-8 months so should I look to work at a different firm before rotating applying?

Comments (6)

Apr 16, 2015

Assuming you are enjoying and learning at your current position and from the sound of it you definitley are I would give it some time before you start worrying too much about next steps. I personally always hated the idea that you need to work at a job for a year even if you hate it or its not relevant to what you are interested in. In your case it seems like you like what you are doing and that it coincides with your long term career goals. If you are just out of school there is no harm in starting to study for the GMAT however your main priority should be killing it and networking where you are and concerning yourself about grad school a couple years down the line. Strong background/work experience trumps grad school 9 times out of 10 in my opinion. Your current position sounds very translatable to REPE so assuming you build a solid network it should not be difficult to transition. I also am planning on applying for my MBA/MS in real estate in the next couple years and for most programs it appears the average age is 27 to 30 ish. Obviously a top 5 MBA is the best route however I am personally leaning toward MIT's MSRED program due to the strong alumni base and the 1 year length.

Apr 16, 2015
CREPATH:

Assuming you are enjoying and learning at your current position and from the sound of it you definitley are I would give it some time before you start worrying too much about next steps. I personally always hated the idea that you need to work at a job for a year even if you hate it or its not relevant to what you are interested in. In your case it seems like you like what you are doing and that it coincides with your long term career goals. If you are just out of school there is no harm in starting to study for the GMAT however your main priority should be killing it and networking where you are and concerning yourself about grad school a couple years down the line. Strong background/work experience trumps grad school 9 times out of 10 in my opinion. Your current position sounds very translatable to REPE so assuming you build a solid network it should not be difficult to transition. I also am planning on applying for my MBA/MS in real estate in the next couple years and for most programs it appears the average age is 27 to 30 ish. Obviously a top 5 MBA is the best route however I am personally leaning toward MIT's MSRED program due to the strong alumni base and the 1 year length.

Thanks for your input. It is translatable - A lot of my work has been focused on JV's, with most high-rises + a master-planned community. Although I don't run the waterfall, I do run the promotes through the development model/sit in with high level executives regarding the deal structure. I do like the idea of going to a 1 year program - I think I'm going to shoot up to MIT to spend a day up there. I am also looking at Columbia's. Thanks again

Apr 16, 2015

Are you only considering MBAs with a RE focus (Wharton, Columbia, Haas, etc.), or just concerned with getting into the highest ranked MBA possible?

Apr 17, 2015
VodkaRedBull:

Are you only considering MBAs with a RE focus (Wharton, Columbia, Haas, etc.), or just concerned with getting into the highest ranked MBA possible?

MBA and Masters that are RE focused - Columbia, NYU, UNC-Flagler, etc.)

Apr 16, 2015

The real question is if you're doing acquisitions/development underwriting for a owner/developer is an MBA even required to take the next step?

Apr 16, 2015
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