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Kate Hawley

Specialization Spotlight: Real Estate

by Kate Hawley Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wisconsin’s specialization approach gives students unmatched depth in real estate along with a general management core. Whether students want to manage million-dollar portfolios or develop affordable housing projects, the UW full-time MBA in real estate positions them to make an immediate impact in their organizations—or start their own real estate business.


Named for the late James A. Graaskamp, a legendary figure in real estate education at Wisconsin, the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate serves as the students’ link to alumni and the professional real estate community. The Center’s advisory board includes accomplished, industry-connected executives at major companies including, Allstate Investments, U.S. Bancorp, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Prudential Mortgage Capital Company. In addition to sponsoring the annual Global Real Estates Market conference in New York, the Center connects students with a dedicated network of alumni and board members who are happy to provide mentorship, résumé reviews, mock interviews, and opportunities for select internships and careers.


Key Characteristics of Successful Students and Roles After Graduation

Attributes of students who succeed in the real estate industry include hardworking leaders with a passion for real estate, confident, initiative-takers, level-headed connectors with financial literacy and presentation skills. Our graduates are offered roles as REIT analysts, development associates, senior financial analysts, vice presidents, investment managers, and corporate real estate managers. You can find more specific information about the above career paths on our website.


Coursework that Creates Expertise

With specialized courses in real estate law, valuation, Argus lease analysis, economics, and urban development, students receive a breadth of knowledge to improve communities and make the right decisions in a demanding market.  This immersion in real estate is unique and sets our students up to excel in their internships and careers.  More information on the specific curriculum information is available on our website.


Applied Learning Opportunities

Students also work directly with business leaders and peers to manage real assets and solve real estate challenges. The Applied Real Estate Investment Track (AREIT) allows interested students the rare opportunity to manage a live portfolio of publicly traded real estate investments worth $1.5 million. Case competitions, guest lectures by industry leaders, capstone courses, Real Estate Club, global study tours, and major industry conferences prepare our group for real estate leadership.


The Wisconsin School of Business Real Estate Alumni Association (WREAA) is passionately engaged in the success of our students and graduates. Now in its 40th year, the WREAA includes more than 2,000 accomplished leaders with deep real estate experience and a passion for giving back. Members provide one-on-one mentoring, conduct mock interviews, and make valuable business introductions. In an industry that prioritizes meaningful relationships, these alumni help our MBAs plug into an immediate network of leaders in the field.


This highly selective, specialized program gives students unparalleled, individual academic attention and exceptional industry exposure. As an added benefit, UW MBAs get a social experience influenced by the energy of a Big Ten campus. Leadership opportunities abound through student-led campus and School groups, case competitions, and team projects.