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Students and alumni connect via the Colgate Real Estate Council in NYC

By Omar Aquije on January 21, 2014
Colgate students on a two-day Colgate Real Estate Council Immersion Trip to New York City listen to a presentation at Westfield.

Colgate students on a two-day Colgate Real Estate Council immersion trip to New York City listen to a presentation at Westfield.

Eight Colgate students spent two days in New York City to learn about careers in commercial real estate from Colgate alumni working at some of the industry’s biggest firms.

On January 15 and 16, the Colgate Real Estate Council hosted an introduction-to-real-estate trip, which consisted of 10 sessions with professionals who spoke about different aspects of the industry and how they launched their careers.

The group heard from Charlotte Myers ’13, who a year ago went on the trip as a student. It helped her get a job at Massey Knakal Reality Services, the No. 1 building sales firm in New York City. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Massey ’82, also spoke to the group.

“It has been a lot of information, a lot to take in, but it has been great,” said Albert Boateng ’14, a student from Ghana studying economics and environmental studies. “Being introduced to firms and professionals who work in these firms has been helpful.”

At CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate firm, students heard from a panel of alumni working in different sectors of the industry.

They heard from John Salib ’95, who studied biology at Colgate and later realized his passion was in business. He now is a partner at Castellan Real Estate Partners.

Chad Cooley ’00 told students that after graduating he spent more than a year calling Colgate alumni working in real estate, and it helped him get a job in the industry. Now he owns his own company.

“I really love what I have done – running my own business,” said Cooley, a managing partner with AWH Partners. “To be good at what you do, you have to be passionate. Whether it’s real estate or something else, find something you love.”

Throughout the panel, students often heard about the value of connecting with Colgate alumni.

Paul Sisson ’93, senior vice president of Brookfield Real Estate Financial Partners, LLC, helped launch the Colgate Real Estate Council. It began with alumni connecting on LinkedIn, and then led to forming the council, which now has more than 350 members. The council, along with the Colgate Entertainment Group, were used as models for new groups within the Colgate Professional Networks.

“We are trying to create a broader network for students and alumni, so people have a network that specializes in real estate,” said Sission, who was a panel moderator.

Andrew Nairin ’14, of Los Angeles, Calif., is studying geography, but wants a career in commercial real estate.

“I’m getting this terrific opportunity to meet some great alumni,” Nairin said. “One of the reasons I went to Colgate was to meet great alumni and get a great job. I feel like this is one of the most informative events I’ve ever been to. It makes me more excited about commercial real estate.”

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