Burnham-Moores Center's Industry Connections Make an Impact on Students and Alumni

Friday, January 12, 2018

Building and developing a strong network of industry connections while a real estate student is key to landing a great job after graduation. The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate helps students do just that.

Jamie Mark '16, contacted Jackie Greulich, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate's student and career services manager, in March 2017 to have Jackie help her find a full-time position in commercial real estate. Jamie had just completed a temporary position at Cushman & Wakefield and wanted guidance on her resume and advice on career options within the industry. Jackie offered Jamie a personalized career assessment profile test which the Burnham-Moores Center offers its students and alumni. The assessment carefully ascertained Jamie’s strengths to help determine which area of real estate she would most likely excel. Jackie and Jamie met, reviewed the results of the assessment and practiced mock interviews. This personalized coaching led Jamie to a job offer from CBRE less than a month later. Jamie is now the real estate services administrator with CBRE in San Diego working within the asset services division.

"The personalized career counseling I received from Burnham-Moores Center helped me identify my personal strengths and weaknesses and helped me to think strategically about pursuing positions where I will continue to develop skills that I can continue to build upon,” says Jamie. “Jackie also connected me with multiple professionals in the industry and sent me listings of positions that came across her desk – she really went above and beyond to help me.”

Jackie recently reached out to Lesley Hudson, senior real estate manager, and Jamie Mark ‘16, regarding a recent University of San Diego (USD) real estate graduate, Isabella Asker ’17, who was interested in pursuing a career in property management.

"Connections are everything in this industry," says Jackie. “Leslie and Jamie met with Isabella for two hours and within 30 days of meeting her, Isabella was offered an assistant property management position with CBRE."

The depth of USD alumni presence in CBRE offices across the nation is significant, according to Robin Darmon, senior director of the Career Development Center at USD, who has also worked closely with CBRE in placing USD students.

 “Our office recently hired at least four USD alumni and an intern,” says Kurt Altvater, senior vice president CBRE Capital Markets in San Francisco. Altvater shares another impressive story of USD's Dillon Bergum '17 who was recently hired over dozens of ivy league applicants and former summer interns for what is the number one entry level analyst position at CBRE in the nation. 

“Dillon had the right amount of chutzpah to get this job from 3,000 miles away," says Kurt. "He was persistent—he reached out to CBRE's New York office  six or seven times to get noticed and then prepared an essay on the office market in mid-town New York City supported with detailed analysis that was so impressive that he was selected to fly to NYC for an interview. He knocked the socks off of the team during a rigorous interviewing process and won the job." Dillon is now a financial analyst for Institutional Properties at CBRE in New York.  

Like other CBRE executives, Kurt has high confidence in the level of smarts and tenacity USD students and alumni offer CBRE. "The faculty at USD and the professionals at the Burnham-Moores Center should be very proud," says Kurt.