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Incoming Real Estate Club President Brian Cleary

Posted By David Walsh, Greystar, Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Brian Cleary, Spring 2019 Co-President of Real Estate Club, is from Arlington Heights, Illinois. Brian received a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2011. Read on to learn more about one of the club’s new leaders!


What is your career experience prior to the Wisconsin MBA program?

Prior to coming to UW, I worked for a private Building Engineering firm in San Diego.  As a Professional Mechanical Engineer, I designed mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering systems for a variety of property types including Government (NAVFAC, USACE), Hospitals, Office Buildings, and Life Sciences.  I also helped start a Construction Management division representing municipalities who manage multiple properties.


What motivated you to pursue an MBA in Real Estate?

I wanted to move from the consulting side to the owner side.  I also wanted to work on my financial skill set and thought a Real Estate focused MBA would provide me with the best opportunities.  Being from Chicago, I had heard so many great things about the UW program and the alumni connections it provides.  After speaking with some alumni, my decision became fairly easy.


What topics within real estate interest you the most?

With a background in construction, development of sustainable buildings has always interested me.  I also have an interest in international real estate investment. 


What are your post-graduation goals?

I plan to work in acquisitions and development.  This summer I worked for a private equity real estate fund working on value-add acquisitions which I really enjoyed.  The mix between finance and construction is great.


How has your WREAA membership been beneficial so far? 

It has been great.  The alumni base is very strong and always willing to take time for a coffee chat or phone call with a student.  I have contacted several alumni who are in WREAA for career advice and mentorship.  I know WREAA helps us in planning our semi-annual Real Estate Club trips which is very appreciated.


What has been your favorite experience with the Real Estate Club or WREAA?

The Real Estate Club trips are by far my favorite experience.  Last spring the Real Estate Club went to Boston which was very interesting.  We met with such a great variety of companies that gave us broad exposure to the Real Estate Industry.  We hope that in addition to the Real Estate Club trip in the spring, we can do another trip to Milwaukee or Chicago to give more club members an opportunity to interact and hear from industry professionals.  The classroom is important, but applying this to the real world and hearing from practitioners is invaluable.


What are your interests and hobbies outside of school?  

I have a Shepard/Husky mix dog that takes much of my time outside of school.  I stay active and play basketball and golf as much as I can.  I travel internationally whenever I can.  I have an Advanced SCUBA Certification and have dove all over the world.   

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