Real Estate Career after MBA

hbs_monkey's picture
Rank: Monkey | 49

Hello everyone,
After a couple of years working in RE and about to start a top MBA program I am very very confused, so I hope to find some advices and ideas from you guys.

I am Italian, 29, I worked one year in RE Asset Management for a top italian RE fund (SGR) and two years in the Big4, (Deals - Advisory). Now I just got admitted in a Top5 European MBA Program (one year) so I am very excited to start it.
I applied for it not only for my career but also for my "personal" development, but now I am very confused about what do to after it: I really like the RE but I still dont know which "area" could be better for my career.
I liked AM, now I like the Advisory job...I could remain here in the Big4, come back into RE Asset Management or apply for advisory's companies like Duff&Phelps, YARD etc. but I do not know anything abot them.

Any suggestion, advice or idea is really appreciated.
Thanks

Comments (16)

Mar 1, 2018

hbs_monkey, have you checked out these or run a search:

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    • 1
Mar 12, 2018

Anyone?

Best Response
Mar 13, 2018

Most top programs have extensive career coaching that helps students figure out what they want to do.
It sounds like you're struggling with this. You could always get a head start and:
1) Write down your strengths; what are you best at that no one else you know can do like you can?
2) When were you at your best in past jobs? What type of work were you doing in those instances?
3) What could you not stand about previous jobs and or when were you least motivated to get certain things done? What were they?
4) Now list the different jobs in real estate. Read about them using this forum. Understand what their day to day is like. ULI did a decent book about RE Careers that I picked up a couple years ago. Review your answers to 1-3 above, and start to think about the roles that you would 1) enjoy based on what you know you like to do and 2) your strengths. I.e. if you hate calling people and/or constantly going to networking events, brokerage may not be for you. If you like value creation, architecture/construction, but also finance maybe look into development. If you don't have patience and are more ADD by nature, you could look at acquisition (value add) where you're creating a business plan like developers do on a compressed timeframe for an asset that's already built. I think you do the above, but when learning about the different functions in RE use his forum because there's someone here who has worked almost all of these jobs before.

Mar 13, 2018

Also, don't be afraid to take an internship before your MBA, even if it's only 4-6 weeks and unpaid. Another idea is working 10-15 hours a week during the MBA. I did this two semester during my full time, in addition to my full time summer internship in acquisitions, and can say this was the best decision I made in terms of career prep and figuring out what I really wanted to do.

Mar 12, 2018

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Mar 12, 2018
cpgame:

Most top programs have extensive career coaching that helps students figure out what they want to do.
It sounds like you're struggling with this. You could always get a head start and:
1) Write down your strengths; what are you best at that no one else you know can do like you can?
2) When were you at your best in past jobs? What type of work were you doing in those instances?
3) What could you not stand about previous jobs and or when were you least motivated to get certain things done? What were they?
4) Now list the different jobs in real estate. Read about them using this forum. Understand what their day to day is like. ULI did a decent book about RE Careers that I picked up a couple years ago. Review your answers to 1-3 above, and start to think about the roles that you would 1) enjoy based on what you know you like to do and 2) your strengths. I.e. if you hate calling people and/or constantly going to networking events, brokerage may not be for you. If you like value creation, architecture/construction, but also finance maybe look into development. If you don't have patience and are more ADD by nature, you could look at acquisition (value add) where you're creating a business plan like developers do on a compressed timeframe for an asset that's already built. I think you do the above, but when learning about the different functions in RE use his forum because there's someone here who has worked almost all of these jobs before.

I didnt know ULI at all...do you remeber the name of the book you mentioned? And again really really thanks for all your help :)

Mar 13, 2018

I honestly fail to see how an MBA will help a real estate professional, especially one that already has RE experience on their resume. Wouldn't you be better off going the MS Real Estate route?

-- Buggy

Mar 13, 2018

The opportunity to take internships while in b school and the guaranteed one over summer between years 1 and 2 might seem unimportant, but they give the student the ability to rebrand him/herself while in school through BOTH a real estate focused MBA plus the work experience. MREDs are typical a straight 11-14 months with no time for internships nor a summer to work full time. It's tough to jump into an entirely new career field (RE) but if you're determined to, a top MBA is the way to go.

Mar 23, 2018
cpgame:

The opportunity to take internships while in b school and the guaranteed one over summer between years 1 and 2 might seem unimportant, but they give the student the ability to rebrand him/herself while in school through BOTH a real estate focused MBA plus the work experience. MREDs are typical a straight 11-14 months with no time for internships nor a summer to work full time. It's tough to jump into an entirely new career field (RE) but if you're determined to, a top MBA is the way to go.

Accurate, and mirrored my thinking / strategy for breaking into REPE from a wholly unrelated career.

I went from English Lit undergrad -> managing a wine business for 6 years -> real estate-focused MBA -> summer internship at a single-family LP investment fund -> Acq. Analyst at an extremely active MF REPE firm -> current position as Sr. Acq. Analyst at an institutional LP equity shop.

Being able to play the "I'm a student" card (as well as a decent GMAT and excellent grades from a target undergrad) is the major reason I was able to convince people to give me the time of day while networking for opportunities. I also had to start very far afield.

I probably wouldn't have been accepted to an MRED program, but I was able to craft a good story to get accepted into a solid MBA program where I was able to 1) focus my studies on finance/real estate; 2) audit 5 MRED courses; 3) obtain a summer internship that re-branded me as a RE guy.

This is just some random guy on the internet's personal anecdote, but hopefully it can be another data point that helps you get to where you want to go.

    • 4
Mar 16, 2018

gotta agree with @cpgame here for a completely different reason.

i think everything you learn in a MSRE or MRED program you can learn on-the-job.

an MBA program, on the other hand, gives you insight into corporate strategy, marketing, finance (other than just RE finance) and other great insights that is completely outside the MSRE focus.

and as @cpgame says, if you can actually get into a top 10 MBA program, you would be insane to not go. the relationships alone are worth 100x the price of admissions. pretty much a life changing opportunity.

just go look at the top guys at big real estate funds/firms. they are frequently MBAs from top 10 schools. none of those people brag about their MSRE.

and even if you were really determined to go get your MSRE, you can always do that AFTER the MBA.

or skip the MSRE entirely and go to the harvard real estate exec education programs after you've got your MBA. those are great.

    • 1
Mar 12, 2018

Thanks a lot guys. Your advices are really appreciated :)

Mar 21, 2018

So youre at IESE/IMD?

Mar 12, 2018

I do not consider them Top 5 :) :)

Mar 21, 2018

Haha ok. Oxbridge are great too.

Mar 22, 2018
hbs_monkey:

advices

    • 2
Mar 21, 2018
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