Students meet NYC’s who’s who of real estate

Miami Herbert Business School connects students with top NYC real estate firms, fostering industry connections and career opportunities.
Students meet NYC’s who’s who of real estate

Having taught and mentored some of the most influential figures in commercial real estate, Andrea Heuson has discerned a common thread: The industry’s biggest hitters tend to have cadres of well-connected allies they can tap into at a moment’s notice.

That’s partially why the Professor of Finance recently accompanied 12 Patti and Allan Herbert Business School students in the Accelerated MBA in Real Estate program on a multiday Manhattan trek. It marked the eighth time Heuson has traveled to New York City with her Accelerated MBA in Real Estate students in tow. Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Jason Damm accompanied the group as well.

Miami Herbert “has a Real Estate Advisory Council, and their firms host our New York visits,” Heuson said. “We were there during a Monday, a Tuesday, and half of a Wednesday, and we visited 11 firms associated with different parts of the commercial real estate industry.”

Along with giving Herbert Business scholars an opportunity to cultivate commercial real estate advisors, “the trip is meant to impress the firms in New York with the caliber of our students and to impress upon our students the kinds of firms we have good relationships with,” Heuson said of her annual Big Apple sojourns. “New York really is the country’s financial real estate center, and we like to introduce students to some of Miami Herbert’s friends.”

There’s also a potential short-term benefit that comes with traveling to New York City to hobnob with the major players in commercial real estate.

The firms “will typically bring in somebody from HR to talk about full-time or summer internship opportunities,” Heuson said.

Internships play an integral role in the Accelerated MBA in Real Estate program by making students look beyond the classroom for knowledge that will enhance their careers.

Not surprisingly, Accelerated MBA in Real Estate students typically complete two or three paid internships during the year and a half it takes to get their degrees. Vera Socolsky, who’s scheduled to earn her Accelerated MBA in Real Estate degree in December 2024, is one of the students who recently accompanied Professors Damm and Heuson to New York.

“We went to (real estate investment firm) DRA (Advisors) and we also visited FTI, which is a consulting company,” said Socolsky, whose family has a real estate development and investment business. “I would say the best part of the New York trip was the connections we made. It was a unique opportunity that I don’t think anyone but Dr. Heuson would be able to provide. She has amazing connections!”

According to Assistant Professor Damm, the 11 Manhattan commercial real estate firms visited by the Miami Herbert entourage also benefitted from the exchange. “They really get a lot out of it,” Damm said. “They feel like they are helping the future leaders of the commercial real estate industry and they love being asked tough questions.”  

Some of those queries came from Jacob Palecki, another Accelerated MBA in Real Estate student who spent an hour and a half inside each of the commercial real estate firms on the itinerary.  

Palecki, who looks forward to eventually overseeing his own commercial real estate portfolio, was especially grateful for Heuson’s longstanding New York City pilgrimage. “I feel like she’s someone I could trust with my professional development, and I really can’t say enough about her and the extra mile she goes,” Palecki said.

Miami Herbert is able to subsidize the Manhattan visits for Accelerated MBA in Real Estate students with financial contributions from the Real Estate Advisory Council. And plans are already being made for the next batch of Accelerated MBA in Real Estate students to hit Manhattan in 2024.