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Growing up the daughter of a commercial contractor in Greenville, SC, Kay Gilreath was surrounded by the CRE culture and lingo. It was a given she would wind up in the field, but not without taking a stab at a few other careers first. In today's issue, we look at the shifting role a CRE post-grad degree plays in a person's career.
Kay Gilreath is a research analyst at JLL in Charlotte

Now a research analyst at JLL in Charlotte, Kay, 30, graduated from Florida State in ?02. She moved to Charleston and ventured into marketing for the wholesale clothing industry, and later, insurance: ?Definitely not for me,? she laughs. She quit her job in Charleston three years ago and decided to seek an MBA at UNC Charlotte, concentrating on real estate development and finance. (It takes about two years to earn an MBA from UNCC and costs about $21k for in-state and about $43K for out-of-state students. Current MBA enrollment: 300.) From the program, Kay quickly landed prestigious internships with the City of Charlotte and Duke Energy. She took a full-time job with JLL in research last August, while still a student. She graduated in December and now says she's where she needs to be: ?I feel more polished and well-rounded. I feel I am prepared for whatever comes my way.?