‘Summer Scholars’ Learn Real Estate Fundamentals

August 03, 2020

Aidan Cole, a rising high school senior from Manhasset, New York, is hoping to study real estate at the University of Miami Herbert Business School next year. Cole was among 15 high school students who learned about real estate and business fundamentals through the University’s Summer Scholars Program this summer.

“My brother, Lucas, and I have been talking about forming our own construction company,” Cole said. “He will be a University of Miami freshman this fall, and we are both interested in real estate finance and investment.”

Ana Cristina Rocha, a rising senior from Brasilia, Brazil, also hopes to attend the University next year. “I have learned so much about investments, mortgages, ethics, and leverage in the Summer Scholars Program,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful experience working with brilliant professors.”

For Jacob Koren, the program provided a great introduction to business and real estate. “The professors helped me understand the content, making these college classes seem like high school work,” he said. 

Altogether, 200 high school students completed the three-week Summer Scholars Program in 2020, earning six college credits in the process, according to Program Director Krista Lyons.

“This was our first remote Scholars Program, and everyone hit it out of the park,” Lyons said at the July 24 virtual closing ceremony. “We received great feedback from students who said they love what they’ve learned this summer.”

Joan Martinez Evora, a lecturer in business law at Miami Herbert Business School, congratulated the Summer Scholars students and parents for their commitment to the program, which included general business classes and specialized offerings in fields such as real estate.

Andrea Heuson, a professor of finance and the academic director of Miami Herbert Business School’s real estate programs, taught the 15 real estate students with Melina Murren Vosse, a fifth-year doctoral student.

“We focused on the concepts of traditional financial analysis for real estate investment and development,” said Heuson. “It’s been fun to teach high school students who are eager to learn about commercial real estate at a young age. About half of the class members were women, increasing the diversity of our students’ perspectives.”

Tori Johanna Cotleur, a rising senior from Jupiter, Florida, said high school investment courses tend to focus on the stock market. “We learned so much about real estate, including developing pro formas for projects and analyzing net operating income (NOI) based on different variables,” she said. “I hope to attend University next year and continue learning about investing and business and real estate.”

Heuson thanked the Miami Herbert Business School Real Estate Advisory Board for sponsoring the program this summer, including support for two faculty members. 

“Our students were engaged throughout the process, which included a midterm and final presentation,” said Vosse. “They asked great questions and studied diligently for each class.”

Jackie Mansfield, a principal in Tristar Capital and a member of the advisory board, prepared material on two neighboring sites in the Wynwood neighborhood, as a case study for five student teams.

“Summer Scholars is a great program,” she said.  “It gives these high-achieving high school students an early opportunity to learn about commercial real estate and consider it as a career.”

To learn more about the University of Miami Summer Scholars Program, please visit ssp.dcie.miami.edu.

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