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Are Universities Equipping Graduates with Skills Corporate Real Estate End-Users Want?

Nov 17, 2016

Every student who steps out of their university is confident that they know everything they need to know to do the first job they get. Similarly, employers hope that the new graduate that they just hired is sufficiently equipped to take their responsibilities on head on. Does this sweet spot exist, however?

A session at the recent CoreNet Global Summit in Philadelphia was presented by the Young Leaders of CoreNet Global. According to Joey Vlasto, Partner, International, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, and Chair, CoreNet Global Young Leaders Committee, Young Leaders are the fastest growing segment of CoreNet Global’s membership and are currently at 25% of total membership. Session moderator Seth Martindale, LEED AP, MCR, SLCR, Managing Director, CBRE,  gathered thoughts from Michael Bangs, VP, Real Estate and Facilities, Oracle, Michael Kline, Vice President of Real Estate, AmeriSourceBergen Corporation and Joey Vlasto on the corporate real estate (CRE) practitioner side, while Tom Geurts, Associate Professor of Finance and Real Estate, The George Washington University, Barry Hersh, Clinical Associate Professor Schack Institute of Real Estate, NYU and Forrest Huffman, Professor of Real Estate, Finance & Legal Studies, Temple University represented the Academic side.

According to Michael Bangs, communication skills, interpersonal skills, accounting and legal skills are some of the top criterion for new hires. Universities are having to adapt to the changing needs of business. According to Guerts, George Washington University even has an active advisory board that sets the direction of the curriculum. He adds that “there is a definite movement away from theory and towards application.”

For the CRE professional, the reality is that their job has changed significantly over the past ten years, and some universities are aware of this. There is a trend towards teaching students new skills such as sustainability. The rapid advancement of technology also means that the CRE professional has to constantly update their tech knowledge and students and universities need to take that into account.

The CRE profession can and needs to have a voice in the conversation of how students are trained and what they are taught. One of the ways they can do that is by “being on an academic advisory board, and also encouraging new employees to take real estates courses, and paying for those courses.” This is important, since one of the observations during the session was that most people in the audience did not have formal real estate training or a formal degree.

Another way in which CRE could get the new hires they need would be to train interns and take an active part in conversing with students.

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Talent Universities young leaders
Sonali Tare