MBA Real Estate at Johns Hopkins

After months of soul searching, I realize that pursuing an MBA with a RE concentration is my best bet to break into infrastructure finance via REPE, a REIT, or possibly consulting through an MBB or perhaps an EY-level firm.

I've outgrown my current career in economic growth policy and administration on the local/regional level, and I would like to transition into a role where I can bring private sector dollars over to fill funding gaps that governments all over just can't seem to deliver.

The issue is that I don't know if the newer MBA program at Johns Hopkins is a possible ticket into MBB or REPE, etc. JH is the only American school that offers both an MBA with a RE Infrastructure concentration AND a MSRE with an infrastructure focus. BUT what's the point if it doesn't open doors?

MBB recruits undergrads, PhDs, MDs, but not
specifically MBAs there, which is vexing. My background is as follows:

Top 10 public school BA Political Science, 3.0 GPA
Second tier public school Master of City and Regional Planning, 3.5 GPA
Over 6 years of very successfully conceiving and managing economic development and brownfield projects (current)
3 years of private sector business development experience.

I'm also reaching for UNC and Cornell

Thanks in advance!

Thoughts on this?

Comments (8)

Sep 2, 2016

Your background is strong. If the work exp is in a major city like NYC DC LA SF Boston that would be even better.

The Hopkins program has direct connections and advisors from MBB in the RE and planning space, so there are opportunities to network if you're good at that. From the sound of your interests, I think networking is probably the best ticket to where you want to be. Hopkins program is in DC, which is the best place to be in terms of infra finance outside of NYC.

For something like infrastructure, which is really really dependent on p3s and regulation, you're going to want to be in DC or NYC, simply BC those are the environments you can emerse yourself in these spaces.

You can def get an internship at a infrastructure or energy advisory firm, maybe PE fund through leveraging the Hopkins name and networking. I think what you'll find is that the space is so small, when people show real interest and passion higher up ppl will help you out even if they're from a different school.

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Sep 2, 2016

Also - not that UNC or Cornell are bad at all, but in DC and NYC you have access to conferences that are usually free for students all the time , year round. Idb world bank UN IMF all that stuff

Sep 2, 2016

This is great feedback, C&F. The bulk of my experience is in Phoenix and (currently) Miami. I agree that DC is a great place to learn from a program that revolves around private sector $ meeting public sector interests, and I may even remember the lay of the land from when I interned there back in college.

I will definitely network like there is no tomorrow when there. My initial thought would be to take my first year or so of classes through their online option, so that I can continue to work (so not to be eaten alive by student loans)....and then finish out my last year or so on campus, so that I can network and immerse myself in any and every internship/externship possible.

And it is interesting about how small this space is like you mention. I think you're correct in that showing real interest in this can go a long way. I hear horror stories of how clubby high finance can be in general, so this is a relief!

My reason for going this route is because I feel that I've hit my ceiling with my current profession (e.g. conceiving and managing an inland port project that will create 4,000 jobs), and I want to serve at a higher level. And to me; nothing is more pressing than seeing the global issue of trillions of dollars in current and upcoming shortfalls for managing the world's most important resource of water. So my thought process is to find value in water infrastructure deals that would increase and optimize delivery in droughted areas (eg pipelines projects) while working to secure funding for coastal mitigation projects in places where the oceans and seas are encroaching.

I'll definitely give this a shot, as I took a cold practice GMAT the other day for a 600 score, so more work is ahead of me without a doubt.

Thanks again, C&F. This is much appreciated and have a great weekend!

Sep 2, 2016

What's the rationale for doing the Hopkins MBA instead of the MSREI?

Sep 2, 2016

I'm not against it, or even doing a double MBA-MSREI. From what I've gathered, an MBA is generally more flexible than a MSRE in that it opens the doors to consulting a bit more.

Completely open to suggestions, and thanks for chiming in.

Sep 2, 2016

No worries. I'm interested to hear more about what your work has been like. Miami is a huge market because of its transportation and port hubs. I think industrial vacancies hover around 0-1%. Could I PM you about it?

I'd say that if you studied poli sci and then planning, the full mba could be of more value BC it will give you background in basic accounting , Econ, and corporate finance which are foundational for understanding how any project or deal gets done at these levels (big projects facilitated by regulation, authorities, government interest, etc)

Sep 2, 2016

No problem. Happy to chat so DM me anytime.

And yeah CRE is super thin near the Port of Miami!

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Sep 3, 2016