An unstable economy slowed recruiting efforts over the past two years, but that is changing now. With more than 240,000 new jobs added to the economy in January and unemployment at the lowest the lowest level since 2009, the hiring outlook is cautiously optimistic. The 2012 Real Estate Club Career Fair built on this optimism by bringing together over 100 talented real estate students with and some of the top companies in the industry.
The fair hosted 26 firms, including Associated Bank, Equity Office and Freddie Mac, at its new location in the Union South. Ben Schmidt, a real estate MBA student and career fair coordinator, emphasizes that attending the fair is a wise investment of time for both students and employers.
"The career fair provides students the opportunity to connect with many different firms from many different sectors of the real estate industry all in one evening," says Schmidt. "For companies, the event is a great opportunity to meet students who are specifically interested in real estate. UW has a great real estate tradition, and our students bring unique skills to the table. Recruiters recognize and value our students' advanced knowledge and skills specific to real estate."
Steve Feeney and Nathan Ross, both real estate alums who now work for Equity Office, have experienced firsthand the benefits of attending of the career fair. Last year, Feeney landed his current job with Equity Office through connections made at the event. This year, Feeney and Ross attended the career fair on the hiring side as representatives of Equity Office. Ross says, "Equity Office hires Wisconsin students because the curriculum they study has an intense real estate focus -- this gives them an advantage over the competition."
Sharon McCabe, Director of Recruiting for the Graaskamp Center, says that providing students with all the resources of the University, the School of Business and the Center is the key to ensuring that students are well prepared for their career in real estate.
"The Graaskamp Center places a high priority on familiarizing students with the industry's unique hiring and recruitment process," says McCabe. "Since most jobs in real estate come from networking and personal connections, we try to help our students foster contacts through resources like the career fair, our extensive alumni network, and the Graaskamp Board of Advisors."