February 6, 2020 marked the first Real Estate Club (REC) meeting of the spring semester, and co-presidents Jared Schnoll and Andy Evans presided over a capacity filled room in the Pyle Center. As is usual at REC meetings, the crowd enjoyed catching up over beer and pizza, but the real draw of these meetings is hearing what industry experts have to say about the profession. Undergraduates and Real Estate MS and MBA students all come to hear the wisdom, the struggles, and the stories about what it takes to succeed in this industry from industry leaders who speak at the meetings.
Graaskamp Board Member and Real Estate Badger Alissa Adler, Senior Vice President of Colliers International, was the featured speaker for the evening. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Adler has worked in many areas of real estate, including analyst, debt and equity, investment advisory, asset management, and acquisitions and dispositions, and she has executed over $1.2 billion in real estate transactions. Before working at Colliers, she was a leader in the Middle Market Investment Advisory Team at Podolsky Circle CORFAC International.
Adler is widely recognized for utilizing her broad real estate knowledge and strong nationwide connections to uniquely serve her diverse client base, and she is an honoree of Crain’s Chicago Business 2019 Notable Women in Commercial Real Estate, recipient of Connect Media’s 2019 Women in Real Estate Award and Bisnow’s 2018 Chicago Power Women of Commercial Real Estate. Alissa received her B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and an M.S. in Real Estate Appraisal and Investment Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Adler's message to students was that they will encounter many different interests and career opportunities post-graduation, and that their interests probably won't be focused soley on just one specific sector of real estate. She emphasized that students need to know themselves in order to maximize your skills and to eventually find a job that is a good fit. Adler also shared interviewing tips and emphasized the importance of a typo-free resume,writing thank-you notes after interviews, maintaining a clean social media presence, and responding quickly when communicating with companies. Adler shared great advice with the students and did a excellent job of addressing the many issues they are sure to encounter as they prepare for a career in the ever changing real estate industry.
The Real Estate Club heads to Austin, TX, on February 26th for the spring field trip where students will network with alumni and other industry professionals, and immerse themselves in the Austin real estate market. In addition, the Innovator Award will be presented to Willy Walker, CEO of Walker & Dunlop on March 5. The last Real Estate Club meeting will be held on April 2.