Columbia Business School MBA Real Estate Program highlighted in Bisnow
The following is an excerpt from the "Grad Issue" of Real Estate Bisnow
Some 50 students graduated from Columbia University’s Business School program in real estate this year, which focuses on subjects like real estate finance and banking, investment management, private equity, and development, says professor Lynne Sagalyn, director of the MBA program and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. The center has strong relationships with many of the big players in CRE in New York and across the nation. With four professors and nine adjuncts with executive experience on the faculty, “the program gives students a foot in the industry, and it integrates theory and practices,” she says. It’s not a textbook curriculum, but weaves hot topics like distress into its courses through case studies. This year included analysis of buying a minority position in a London trophy property and reviewing the recapitalization and sale of 111 Eighth Ave, among others. (We wonder if there's a course on building a tolerance to that dry erase marker smell.)
Almost all of the 45 to 50 first-year students have found internships and more than 60% of graduates have accepted full-time jobs, Lynne tells us. Columbia has an active career management center and a dedicated executive-in-residence, Leanne Lachman, who not only helps students searching for jobs but also with connections to alumni in the industry. “The center has fabulous ties and can match a person’s skills with companies,” Lynne says. There are CRE industry coaches to talk job strategy and videotape mock interviews, while emails from the career management center offer career tips and advice. The toughest year for recruitment (and the NY Mets) was ’09, she says, and in good times, perhaps 80% of graduates would have accepted full-time positions by May.
Two from Columbia’s Class of '11: Michael Tillman and Lauren Jezienicki. Lauren worked at The JBG Cos two years prior to enrolling at Columbia, and held a part-time internship with Academic Housing Partners while in school. The real advantage to Columbia's NYC location is its proximity to senior business executives who live and/or work in Manhattan, she says. “We were lucky enough to have dozens of high-level professionals, many of them legends in the industry, visit the campus to teach a class, speak at an event, or serve as a mentor,” she says. Michael Tillman took a job with The LeFrak Org, after working with the company through an internship (managing director Harrison LeFrak is a Columbia graduate, and the firm takes one intern each from Columbia and Wharton annually). Many of the school’s alumni are based in or near NYC, and often visit to share their experiences through mentorship breakfasts, speaker lunches, or career panels.