MSRE Programs with Canadian exit ops

Hi All, 

I'm wondering if anyone can help me with which MSRE(D)/graduate studies programs have the best industry connections in Canada, with my top choice being to move and work in Vancouver, BC. The obvious answer would be UBC's PGCV program, however I don't have all the required business undergrad courses (I have only 4/12) to be eligible for the program. There is also Schulich's MREI program but I couldn't find many industry professionals with this degree making me question my prospects if I go that route (Schulich MREI grads please correct me if I'm mistaken). So now I am expanding my search to US MSRE Programs with the goal of returning to Canada after graduation.

A bit about me: 

  • No previous RE experience; 7 years in oil & gas
  • Chem Engg undergrad; non-target school, reputation for a good engineering program among Canadian universities; 3.7 GPA
  • Have been networking extensively but unable to secure a job - couple of final round interviews and even a verbal offer which was rescinded; general feedback is that I'm interviewing well but management is more comfortable hiring one of the many proven 2nd/3rd year analysts currently looking for work in my local market (Calgary, AB - the worst downtown office market in North America for several years)
  • CFA level 1 - passed, Argus software certification, various online financial modelling courses, and courses from UBC Sauder Real Estate continuing professional development program
  • Targeting acquisitions/development roles post-grad
  • Have not written the GMAT/GRE

At this point, I think i have given the self-study & network route a fair shot and now I'm looking for a more formal qualification behind my name to help with this career change. I see the value of a 2-year program and an internship but would prefer 1-year programs if at all possible. Ideally, I will quit my engineering job and leverage my admission into a program to get an internship prior to starting classes.

Any input is appreciated. Thanks all.

Comments (5)

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  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Nov 11, 2021 - 11:53am

OGtoRE

Hi All, 

I'm wondering if anyone can help me with which MSRE(D)/graduate studies programs have the best industry connections in Canada, with my top choice being to move and work in Vancouver, BC. The obvious answer would be UBC's PGCV program, however I don't have all the required business undergrad courses (I have only 4/12) to be eligible for the program. There is also Schulich's MREI program but I couldn't find many industry professionals with this degree making me question my prospects if I go that route (Schulich MREI grads please correct me if I'm mistaken). So now I am expanding my search to US MSRE Programs with the goal of returning to Canada after graduation.

A bit about me: 

  • No previous RE experience; 7 years in oil & gas
  • Chem Engg undergrad; non-target school, reputation for a good engineering program among Canadian universities; 3.7 GPA
  • Have been networking extensively but unable to secure a job - couple of final round interviews and even a verbal offer which was rescinded; general feedback is that I'm interviewing well but management is more comfortable hiring one of the many proven 2nd/3rd year analysts currently looking for work in my local market (Calgary, AB - the worst downtown office market in North America for several years)
  • CFA level 1 - passed, Argus software certification, various online financial modelling courses, and courses from UBC Sauder Real Estate continuing professional development program
  • Targeting acquisitions/development roles post-grad
  • Have not written the GMAT/GRE

At this point, I think i have given the self-study & network route a fair shot and now I'm looking for a more formal qualification behind my name to help with this career change. I see the value of a 2-year program and an internship but would prefer 1-year programs if at all possible. Ideally, I will quit my engineering job and leverage my admission into a program to get an internship prior to starting classes.

Any input is appreciated. Thanks all.

Out of curiosity, what type of roles have you been targeting currently? Acquisitions/development roles are more for experienced hires. Your best luck will likely be with a brokerage or appraisal firm, or another entry level role. Unfortunately this will be a considerable paycut from your current job, but I don't think you'll be able to land something that requires experience, no matter how much self-study you do.

As for MSRE programs, you are correct there are not many within Canada that are well known. I have seen a few people from the York program but not a ton. Even the UBC program you referred to - I believe this is a program that people do to receive the AACI designation and it is typically done online while working? The most common graduate education I have seen is likely an MBA from one of the top Canadian schools but not sure if you want to go that route in terms of time and money.

Nov 11, 2021 - 11:23pm

You're right. I've been targeting AM and Appraisal analyst roles because I'm coming in with no RE experience as you said. I apply to brokerages too but those positions have been few and far between - my local market was in rough shape even pre-covid and brokerages have been downsizing.

Thank for you for your feedback on the Canadian programs. Are there any US MSRE(D) programs with a strong alumni network in Canada? 

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Nov 12, 2021 - 1:24am

OGtoRE

You're right. I've been targeting AM and Appraisal analyst roles because I'm coming in with no RE experience as you said. I apply to brokerages too but those positions have been few and far between - my local market was in rough shape even pre-covid and brokerages have been downsizing.

Thank for you for your feedback on the Canadian programs. Are there any US MSRE(D) programs with a strong alumni network in Canada? 

I'm actually quite familiar with your market - I think I saw a research role with CBRE and a financial analyst role with CW not long ago. Might be good options to get your toes wet. Maybe Altus Group as well? Even with Calgary's office market doing poorly, multifamily and industrial are on fire across the country.

If the brokerages are tough to break into you could also try debt brokerages and lenders. I imagine they are busy as ever with pending rate increases. Canada ICI, MCAP, etc. The banks also all have dedicated CRE lending teams which will have less of a pay cut in salary. You may get a better look on the debt side given your CFA level 1 and maybe spin your energy experience as understanding the different covenants of energy tenants?

I'm sorry to say but I have not seen many people within Canada with a MSRE. My advice would be to network as much as possible and to focus on service providers rather than landlords (typically more entry level roles).

Nov 12, 2021 - 10:20am

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