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This blog is used to share information with alumni, students and friends of the UW Madison Real Estate and Urban Land Economics Program.

 

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International Market Representative Spotlight

Posted By David A. Walsh, Monday, May 14, 2018

 



Alejandro Mazariegos is WREAA’s Market Representative for the Latin American Region. Raised in Escazu, Costa Rica, Alejandro joined UW as an inaugural member of the Global Real Estate Masters (GREM) program in 2011. His education prior to UW included a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Universidad Veritas and an MBA from INCAE Business School, both in Costa Rica. Alejandro now works for Grupo Financero Improsa in San Jose, Costa Rica.

 

Tell us about your role at Grupo Financero Improsa.

  • I am leading the acquisitions unit here at Grupo Financero Improsa. More than a REIT, it’s a fund. I oversee valuations and negotiations when we look at assets for acquisition. I also go to banks and try to work out debt financing.

Why did you choose to study at UW-Madison?

  • My family was always involved in smaller real estate deals. Before doing my MBA, I worked doing lease accounting for Citi Bank, and before the crash I was working in real estate banking. [Real Estate] has always been my passion. At INCAE, I heard there was an opportunity to go study specifically real estate. There aren’t that many specializations in my small country, and I thought, I have to be there.

How does the real estate industry in Costa Rica differ from in the US, and how does that influence the challenges you face in your work?

  •  Development: Costa Rica is very into sustainability and the environment, so permits can take a very long time.
  • Financing: Interest only loans for commercial assets aren’t allowed in Costa Rica. You’re required to be paying principal no later than 6 months after originating the loan. To work around this, a REIT might issue interest only bonds to create an IO loan.
  • Financing: Financing in USD is usually cheaper than local currency, but you need to handle exchange rates. Because leases here are signed in USD, large companies that also generate revenues in USD are safer because they will be able to withstand fluctuations in the Colones’ value.
  • Leases: In all leases, the tenant is not under the obligation to fulfil the lease. The tenant can end the lease whenever they want, so you have to price this into your valuation.

What has been the most enjoyable or unique deal/project you have worked on?

  • At my last job, I was hired by First Citizens Bank with the purpose of launching an investment banking unit in Latin America. I had to work with my headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago while completing deals in Chile, Panama, Ecuador, Salvador, Paraguay, Guatemala, and Columbia. I am proud to have lead the creation of something not already established.

How do you stay connected to the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Network?

  • Every now and then UW undergrads reach out to me with questions and I try to answer those as best as I can.
  • I try to involve other Real Estate Badgers in projects in Costa Rica. Everyone has been very responsive and kind when I call, but I think fears of market liquidity have prevented transactions. I don't think this concern is justified, so I hope we can do deals together soon. Like I said, everyone has been incredibly friendly when I call, it just hasn't worked out yet.

Do you have any advice for current undergrads or graduate students studying real estate at UW? Also, for students who may be interested in working internationally after graduation?

  • Keep your eyes and options open. Think outside the box, and go beyond the country. At my graduation ceremony, two Midwest professionals gave speeches and encouraged students to go outside the borders. They said the world is getting smaller.
  • As RE professionals, we must look outside the spreadsheets and understand the markets, demographics, and industries.

WREAA thanks Mr. Mazariegos for sharing his experiences and his role as an International Market Representative! As a reminder, Market Representatives for all regions can be found under the "Contact Us" tab of the WREAA webpage. 

 

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Student Spotlight

Posted By David A. Walsh, Monday, May 7, 2018


 

Hans Helland, MBA Candidate, is an incoming Co-President of the Real Estate Club for the Fall of 2018. Hans is from the Wisconsin Dells, and got his BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame. Here is a short interview with Student Ambassador David Walsh to share his background and interests:

 

Tell us about your career prior to UW MBA program.

  • I worked with Quicken Loans out of college as a mortgage banker for a couple years, eventually becoming licensed in 11 states.  I then went to the Poconos where I helped open a waterpark resort at Camelback. My responsibilities included revenue and labor reporting, setting accounts payable procedures, and general hotel management duties.

What motivated you to pursue an MBA in Real Estate at Wisconsin?

  • When at Camelback, I joined the team as development was wrapping up.  I found the entire process fascinating and desired to change my career to a more development focus.  After researching potential schools to attend, Wisconsin jumped out with its excellent academic reputation and affordability.

What topic(s) within real estate interests you the most?

  • Lodging Development
  • REIT investing

Have you been involved in any application-based learning such as case competitions, appraisal projects, or REIT trading? 

  • Argus Case Competition
  • Applicant to the AREIT program

Where geographically are you most interested in working after graduating from the program?

  • The midwest in general, but I’m still narrowing down options.  Right now, Minneapolis-St Paul area and Chicago are the top candidates

How has your WREAA membership been beneficial to you?

  • The strong alumni connection with  the real estate program, as enhanced by WREAA, has been one of the most beneficial parts of my time here at Madison, and was one of the deciding factors in choosing to come to Wisconsin for my MBA.  Having an opportunity to speak with industry leaders because of my WREAA membership is something that not many schools can offer.

How long have you been a REC member?

  • Since September 2017 when I came to school here.

What have been your favorite experiences with WREAA or the Club?

  • The spring 2018 REC trip was fantastic with the quality of the companies we met with and the events set up for students to meet alumni living in and around Boston.  WREAA’s support of the semi-annual trips, in my opinion, is essential to the success of the club overall.
  • The speakers that have been brought in for club meetings have been very enlightening and have helped broaden my understanding of the real estate industry.

What hobbies keep you busy outside of school?

  • Playing basketball and ultimate Frisbee, hiking and kayaking, and traveling.

 

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Student Spotlight

Posted By David A. Walsh, Wednesday, May 2, 2018



Matt Allard, MBA Candidate, is one of the Real Estate Club’s incoming Co-Presidents for the Fall of 2018. Matt is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and earned a BS in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Matt answered a few of WREAA Student Ambassador David Walsh’s questions to help us get to know him better:

 

Tell us about your career prior to UW MBA program.

  • I worked at J.P. Morgan for 7 years in its Private Banking division. In my role, I worked with ultra-high-net-worth individuals, family offices, and endowments and foundations to allocate capital across equities, fixed income, and alternative investments. During this time, I entered the CFA program and received my CFA charter prior to business school.

What motivated you to pursue an MBA in Real Estate at Wisconsin?

  • I’ll answer this question in two parts. I chose to pursue an MBA in Real Estate because I knew Real Estate was going to be my long-term career passion. I chose Wisconsin because it offered (in my opinion) the best Real Estate curriculum and the strongest alumni base of any MBA program in the country. 

What topic(s) within real estate interests you the most?

  • Affordable housing
  • Transit-Oriented Development

Have you been involved in any application-based learning such as case competitions, appraisal projects, or REIT trading? 

  • UT Austin Case Competition, Argus Case Competition
  • REAL 715 Appraisal Project

Where geographically are you most interested in working after graduating from the program?

  • Chicago for now. May have some interest in moving to the East Coast for the right opportunity.

How has your WREAA membership been beneficial to you?

  • It has been. I think one of the best selling points about coming to the University of Wisconsin to study Real Estate is the alumni network. Being able to link up with an alum who is currently working in a function that you are interested in to learn more about what they do has been extremely beneficial.

How long have you been a REC member?

  • Since September 2017 when I came to school here.

What have been your favorite experiences with WREAA or the Club?

  • I attended the WREAA Christmas party in Chicago this past December and I really enjoyed that.
  • I’ve also really enjoyed the speakers that we have brought in to talk to us about their experience in real estate.

What hobbies keep you busy outside of school?

  • I enjoy reading and finding new places to eat around Madison.

 

 

 

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Michael Casey Returns to Madison

Posted By David A. Walsh, Monday, April 30, 2018


 

Last Thursday, Michael Casey joined the UW Real Estate program for a lunchtime Q&A session and a Real Estate Club meeting. Mr. Casey is originally from Milwaukee and earned his BBA and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was honored with WREAA’s Distinguished Real Estate Alumni Award in 2016.  The award recognizes the commitment and dedication of a University of Wisconsin-Madison real estate alumnus, which can be seen through his continued involvement and support of the UW Real Estate Program and the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association.  His career began with 25-30 years focused on acquisitions and then transitioned to raising capital. Mr. Casey credits his experience in transactions with helping him to have an in-depth knowledge of real estate, which he believes has been integral in his success raising capital. In addition to being knowledgeable, he told students that to raise money people need to be able to trust you, and this comes from never taking shortcuts or compromising your integrity.

 

Mr. Casey also spoke on topics such as how an investment committee at a large firm like Blackstone Group operates and global trends in capital availability. WREAA thanks Michael Casey for spending this time with student Real Estate Badgers!

 

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REC Hears from Mike Berman, Former Executive VP of Finance for GGP

Posted By David A. Walsh, Thursday, April 12, 2018


 

Mike Berman presented to the Real Estate Club last Thursday about his career in real estate and offered advice to students entering the industry. Mike studied and practiced law before attending Columbia Business School. He then gained experience in a wide array of roles including loan securitization, hedge fund management, and taking companies public. He recently retired from the position of Executive VP of Finance for GGP, a leading owner of retail properties in America.

 

After explaining his career history, Mike spoke at length regarding what REITs are, their history in the US, and how they are regulated. Because of his experience at GGP, Mike is particularly well positioned to advise on the retail sector. Students were eager to hear his opinion about the future of retail,  particularly malls, during the Q&A opportunity. A few of Mike’s wise words to students throughout the presentation included not taking on a new role for the sake of change without understanding its responsibilities; always being respectful to recruiters, regardless of if you are job searching; and to receive constructive criticism without resistance or defense; all of which he supported with stories from his career.

 

WREAA thanks Mike Berman for providing a great learning opportunity for UW Real Estate students!

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Spotlight on WREAA Scholarship Recipients

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Thursday, April 12, 2018

Generous donations made to the alumni association by dedicated alumni and friends make funding possible for scholarships. A total of four scholarships are administered through the WREAA office. In addition to the Dianne M. Orbison Memorial Scholarship Award and the Stephen Malpezzi Tradition and Innovation Scholarship, WREAA was able to provide one $5,000 Scholarship to a graduate student, and two $2,000 scholarships to undergraduate students in 2018. This post highlights the recipients of three of the scholarships administered by WREAA , Jared Shoemaker, Jonathan Korger and Conor Mc Carthy.

 


 

Jared Shoemaker (MBA 2019), received the WREAA Graduate Scholarship. Jared earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Architectural Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2008 and 2010.  After graduating from Penn State, Jared moved to New York City to work for Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.  He stayed with WJE for seven years and was promoted to Senior Associate during that time.  As a Senior Associate with WJE, Jared led project teams on the design and construction of over 20 projects annually, each with budgets ranging from $10,000 to $5,000,000. Jared looks forward to pursuing his career ambitions starting with an MBA at Wisconsin School of Business’ Graaskamp Center for Real Estate.  He was awarded the Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship award.  He would like to focus his career on multifamily residential and mixed-used development, including suburban densification and the reuse of existing buildings.

 


 

Jonathan Korger was awarded a WREAA Undergraduate Scholarship.  A Wisconsin native, Jonathan wants to use his education to help bring a new wave of economic growth and development to areas outside of Madison. In addition to the Real Estate Club, he is active on campus in the Finance & Investment Society and the Capital Management Club.  Following graduation, Jonathan plans to secure a law degree and pursue a career in credit, incentive and location services for small and large businesses.

 


 

WREAA Undergraduate Scholarship recipient Conor Mc Carthy is a direct admit Freshman with Junior standing, after completing an A.A. in Business Administration concurrently with his high school diploma.  Conor hails from Washington State.  He serves on the Executive Board of UW-Madison's Capital Management Club (an investment club), where he is the Recruitment Chair. Conor interned this spring in Financial Services for Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial. 

 

Congrats to Jared, Jonathan and Conor!

 


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Badger Real Estate Undergrads Earn 1st Place Victory at Villanova

Posted By David A. Walsh, Tuesday, April 10, 2018


 

On Friday, April 6, UW-Madison won the 2018 Villanova Real Estate Challenge. The team of undergraduate students included Austin Jansen, Austin Wolske, Brett Bousquet, and Blaine Barker (left to right in photo).

 

The team was given a 30,500 SF site in downtown Philadelphia to develop for Brandywine Realty Trust. The final proposal included a tower with 8,400 SF of retail, including a high-end restaurant; 422,000 SF of office space on floors 2-20; 242 units of multifamily on the 21st-35th floors; and 74 underground parking spaces. Return metrics were calculated as a 21% IRR and 4.5x equity multiple over a ten-year hold.

 

Second place went to the University of Southern California, third place to Colorado State University, and fourth place went to Ohio State University. Other participants in the competition were: California Polytechnic, Florida State University, Monmouth University, New York University, Penn State University, Rutgers University, Saint Joseph's University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

Congratulations to the team!

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Paying it Forward in the Wisconsin Tradition

Posted By David A. Walsh, Friday, April 6, 2018
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2018



Mike Kalscheur has been providing guidance and support to real estate students at UW-Madison since the program’s inception nine years ago.  Mike grew up in Madison and received both a B.S. in Construction Management and an M.S. in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from UW-Madison. He currently serves as the President of Meridian Properties Real Estate, Inc. in Carlsbad, California.  Mike recently talked to Social Media Ambassador David Walsh about his experiences as a mentor and what has encouraged him to maintain his lengthy involvement with the mentorship program.

 

What lead you to join the UW Real Estate Mentorship Program? Have you had mentors throughout your own career from UW or elsewhere?

 

I wanted to stay connected to the real estate program in general and the students specifically. The mentorship program seemed like a great way to do that, and to hopefully help the students gain some insight into what they could expect after they graduate. I was blessed with several great mentors at TOLD Development Company, all whom were UW real estate guys and can’t even begin to articulate how much they helped me grow in the real estate business and as a person.

 

What encourages you to continue serving as a mentor?

 

I probably get a lot more out of it than my mentees. It’s been fun for me to get to know the students and to hear how the real estate program continues to evolve over time.

What has been notably valuable in your experience with this group?

 

It’s always great to get a call from a mentee that’s excited about landing a job. I know the mentorship program goes out of its way to make sure the students understand that it’s not a mentors’ role to give them a job or help them find one, but ultimately that’s why you get your degree, so I try to help however I can. I don’t think my efforts have ever led directly to a student getting a specific job opportunity, but the interviewing process and decision making that takes place can be pretty intense and I’d like to think I can help them along; even if it’s only as a sounding board.

 

Have you done business or continued your relationship with any mentees?

 

Not yet. My business is specific to the San Diego area or within a very narrow niche when I do deals elsewhere in the country. So, unless one of them lands in San Diego or focuses on heavy industrial property that allows outdoor storage it may not happen…although maybe someday one of them will lend me money.

 

What advice do you have for current students?

 

The biggest thing I tell the students is to view their first job out of school as a continuance of their education. The Wisconsin Real Estate program is clearly the best in the world, but you still have a lot to learn after you graduate. My advice is to look hard for a position in the area of real estate that you’re most passionate about and make sure you end up with a company that’s going to invest in your personal growth. You don’t want to be stuck in a cube somewhere running Argus models forever, so find out what you’ll be doing day one and what they expect you may be doing in year five. I also tell students they should resist the urge to take one job over another for the sole reason of year one salary. A few bucks won’t mean much if it’s in a city you don’t want to live in or with a company you don’t enjoy.

 

Many thanks to Mike for his continued contributions to the UW-Madison Real Estate program!

 

 

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Spotlight on the 2018 Scholarship and Award Recipients

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Thursday, April 5, 2018

 

WREAA administers and funds four annual scholarships and awards; the WREAA Undergraduate Scholarships, the WREAA Graduate Scholarships, the Dianne M. Orbison Memorial Scholarship Award and the Stephen Malpezzi Tradition and Innovation Scholarship.  This post highlights the recipients of two of the scholarship, Alison Petrick and Tara Wilson.  Watch for a spotlight on the three WREAA Scholarship recipients coming soon!



 

Alison Petrick was awarded the 2018 Dianne M. Orbison Real Estate Scholarship Award.  Originally from Middleton, Wisconsin, Alison is a junior pursuing a double major in real estate and finance, investment, & banking. She is active on campus in a co-ed professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi and is a member of the Real Estate Club. Alison is also a co-founder of the recently formed Women in Real Estate Club (WIRE). She volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity.  This summer, Alison will be interning at the real estate investment and development company, CA Ventures, in Chicago, Illinois as an Asset Management Intern.

 

The Dianne M. Orbison Memorial Real Estate Scholarship Award fund was established by the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association thanks to the generous contributions of her family and so many classmates and friends of Dianne’s who expressed strong wishes to honor her memory as a loving person, good friend and strong leader.   Dianne is remembered for her collaborative approach in business, as a volunteer and advocate for the University of Wisconsin, and as a person who was a barrier breaker.  The Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association is proud to continue the tradition of this important scholarship begun by Dianne, one of the many ways she found of "giving back". The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a female graduate or undergraduate real estate student.

 


 

Tara Wilson, a junior from Western Springs, Illinois, was awarded the 2018 Stephen Malpezzi Tradition and Innovation Scholarship.   On campus Tara has been involved in Business Badgers Professionals and Alpha Phi Sorority. This past semester, she and another classmate founded the Women in Real Estate Club with the mission to build a community of women wishing to pursue a career in Real Estate.  In her free time, she loves to work out, spend time with friends, and has played an active role in supporting Special Recreations. Tara will intern as a Real Estate Analyst with Wells Fargo in Chicago this summer. Upon graduation in May 2019, Tara hopes to relocate to a large city and work within the Real Estate Industry.

 

The Tradition and Innovation Scholarship is awarded in recognition of the long-standing service and dedication of Real Estate Professor Stephen Malpezzi, who retired in 2016 from his teaching role at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Applicants for the $5,000 scholarship were asked to write an essay answering the question "How will the Wisconsin Tradition in Real Estate Education impact your approach to your career and life following graduation?"

 

Congratulations to Alison and Tara!

 

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2018 Scholarship and Award Recipients

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Monday, April 2, 2018


 

The Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association is pleased to announce that recipients for the 2018 scholarships have been chosen!  Through the generous support of UW-Madison Real Estate Alumni and friends, WREAA is able to fund and administer four annual scholarships worth a total of $19,000.  Many thanks to the twenty alumni volunteers who donated their time and expertise to read and evaluate the scholarship applications and essays submitted by students.  Stayed tuned to the WREAA Network Blog as we spotlight these students in the coming week.

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