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Wake Forest?s Guy Groff, director of the university?s career management center.

Commercial real estate can be remarkably rewarding, both professionally and monetarily. But breaking in now is going to be tough, even among candidates with post-graduate training and prior work experience, says Wake Forest?s Guy Groff, director of the university?s career management center. Guy (looking dapper here at a recent student-alumni function) says large CRE firms hire when times are good, but pare back in a slump. And right now it's still pretty, well, slumpy. ?It's a just-in-time business,? Guy tells us. Interestingly, top Charlotte CRE execs aren't necessarily impressed by higher academic degrees. Trinity Partners' Gary Chesson says what he looks for in a prospective hire may be unteachable. ?I look for passion,? Gary says. Which is not to say that the added degree doesn?t help hone a candidate?s mind. It provides focus and broader understanding of the market, Gary says. ?The intelligence factor is definitely part of it,? he says. ?You can tell when somebody really gets it.?