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What Do You Do With an M.A. in Real Estate?

What Do You Do With an M.A. in Real Estate?
Along with spring comes a new crop of CRE grads ready to put their knowledge to work. We decided to take a look at the programs and their newly harvested masters, starting with Harvard.
Harvard Real Estate Academic initiative director Rick Pieser
In Harvard Square, we snapped Rick Peiser, co-director of the Masters in Design Studies in Real Estate program. He tells us that this year?s graduating class of 28 has spent more time studying how to raise capital. Once firms have enough experience, they can raise institutional capital through private equity sources, a step up from the friends and family route so many entrepreneurs start with. There's also more emphasis in the Harvard program on sustainability (what measures really make a difference), globalization of the industry, and emerging markets, especially India and China. The price tag for these insights is $71k in tuition and fees for three semesters. (Speaking of students, a shameless plug: This is your last chance to sign upfor Bisnow's Student Housing Summit at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, starting at 7am tomorrow morning.)

Arianna Sacks
Arianna Sacks, 29, is an architect (Cornell grad of '05) who practiced with Rafael Vi oly in NYC and has long known she wanted to study development and investment at Harvard. The Masters in Design Studies in Real Estate program allows her to take courses across the university at the B School, Law School, the JFK School, and even at MIT. While job prospects for the grads aren't as good as pre-?08, they're much better than they've been since the meltdown. Arianna tells us last year not every grad got a job, but this year they're getting jobs they really want. She's taken an extended internship with the Hudson Co in NYC developing transit-oriented market-rate, affordable, and mixed-income housing. She says the trick to finding the right job:networking.
Joe Martinez
Classmate Joe Martinez, who trained as an architect, will soon have a Masters in Design Studies in Real Estate. He found the course work fascinating, and one notion really stuck: real estate is local, but the capital it needs is global. Joe?s already started working for Prudential Mortgage Capital in San Francisco as an investment analyst originating affordable housing mortgages. He says multifamily housing is picking up, but he's had to lower his job sights. He says there are fewer jobs and more at entry level. His dictum for this market: be ready to start at the bottom. He nabbed his position after three years of work experience, three internships, a Harvard degree, and sending out 45 resumes.