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The Dummy's Guide to Getting a Job

Dallas-Ft. Worth
The Dummy's Guide to Getting a Job

College: the best four (or five) years of your life. But now that caps and gowns are stored away, here's the hard part: finding employment. We talked with recent grads, CRE professionals, and the headhunters who love them to get the low-down.

 
SMU grad Collin Aufhammer and JLL managing director Jeff Staubach

At JLL, we snapped May SMU grad Collin Aufhammer and JLL managing director Jeff Staubach. The old adage rings true: it's all about who you know. ?Collin?s dad works in our LA office and he reached out to me,? Jeff tells us. He's helping Collin make professional connections with other firms. Generally, JLL doesn't hire new graduates, but Jeff says he's happy to connect great candidates with other firms. Sometimes JLL interns stay within the company and other times they move on. ?Our goal is to find someone who will be a success at JLL,? Jeff says. Collin?s had 25 interviews since March and is eager to stay in DFW, he tells us. Growing up in the industry, he's comfortable with networking. And at SMU, he says he learned speaking ability, being confident, and how to interview well.

 
Kurz Group Mini
 
UNT  College of Business prof Ted Farris

We walked the UNT campus with College of Business prof Ted Farris, who helped start the logistics program back in 1997 with 15 students. Today, more than 500  have majored in the program—about 40% in operations management, 45% in marketing, and the rest are number crunchers, Ted tells us. UNT?s program differs from others, partly because an internship is a requirement: ?Industry leaders tell us they want hands-on experience.? Students send resumes and interview for the internships just like a job. Additionally, students are required to prepare a portfolio  and update it every semester. By the time they graduate, Ted says, they have work experience and a top-notch resume. The capstone class pulls together accounting, finance, and marketing to give the graduate the ability to solve problems and pay attention to the details.

Business Leadership Building at UNT

While at UNT, we checked out the Business Leadership Building, under construction. The 180k SF, $70M building will house the College of Business, one of the largest in the nation with almost 6,000 students. Opening this fall, it's designed by Polshek Partnership Architects. The main firms working on the project include Hunt Construction Group, Jacobs Engineering Group, Charles Gojer & Associates, and Datum Engineers.

TCU Neeley School of Business prof Joe Lipscomb

At the TCU Neeley School of Business, prof Joe Lipscomb says students learn real estate while developing their analytical skills: ?We've seen our results firsthand with the success we've had at winning real estate case competitions with our MBA teams.? TCU teams have won the Dallas NAIOP competition two years in a row and earned an honorable mention at the MIT case competition this year. Most importantly, he says, is they learn the things that will help them excel in the real world: particularly analytical and presentation skills. ?We go above the standard in helping develop team building, presentation development, and how to stand up and deliver a talk in person,? he tells us. Graduates have gone straight into jobs at Crow Holdings, Trademark, and Archon, among others.

The Dummy's Guide to Getting a Job
Good news grads: in the recently released National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2011 Spring Update, employers reported that they will hire 19% more  new college graduates this year than they did last one. In September, employers projected hiring 13.5% more new graduates from the class of 2011 than they hired from the class of 2010. ?This is the first time since 2007 that we've seen a double-digit increase in spring hiring projections. That's a good indication that the job market for new college graduates is gaining momentum,? says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. Results suggest that employers in the finance, insurance, and real estate group are among the best bets for class of 2011 graduates. Each of those predicts healthy increases in overall hiring, and more than half of respondents plan increases.
 
Dudley & Associates executive search partner Sayres Dudley with Gillham, Golbeck & Associates prez Rick Gillham
We found Dudley & Associates executive search partner Sayres Dudley with Gillham, Golbeck & Associates prez Rick Gillham atBisnow's DFW Real Estate Summit on May 16. He tells us firms are starting to hire again from the bottom up. He knows of one company willing to take a raw recruit right out of school for an analyst position as long as the candidate has good finance and computer skills. ?Hiring is not robust but better than last year, when there were virtually no jobs in real estate,? he tells us. MBAs are being hired now, but they're not commanding the wages they were getting in the past. Also, companies looking at young professionals want to see if they did internships and how they prepared for entering the workforce. ?That will give you a leg up,? he says. Smart companies are using social networking in recruitment efforts, Sayres says.
 
Delta Dallas team of Kaz Rash, Cecile Webster, Stacey Brady and Dana Lee

The gals at Delta Dallas—Kaz RashCecile WebsterStacey Brady, and Dana Lee—coach job applicants. Cecile says one of the best sources to locate good candidates for client job searches is LinkedIn and Facebook. There are new grad groups to search and university groups to peruse. Kaz, who works primarily with CRE clients, says many employers are looking for that entry-level staffer fresh out of school because they want to mold and mentor that person for their corporate environment. Employers are looking for computer skills and often for advanced degrees like MBAs or an MS as well as certifications and licenses like a CPA or CCIM , Kaz says. Numbers guys are in demand on the finance side and brokerage houses are seeking out service specialists and client relations coordinators.

 
sea of graduates

To stand out from the crowd, Stacey suggests students start thinking about post-college life while still in school. Many employers are looking for a GPA of at least a 3.0 and leadership roles in campus organizations. Other desirable traits: polished presentations, professional attitudes, growth potential, and a long-term commitment. She says employers want talent that's young and hungry, ready to go, anxious to learn more, and open to constructive criticism.

 
help wanted sign
?Don't start looking for a job after graduation—plant the seeds three to six months before your graduate,? Cecille says. And, she advises,dress for success. She'll even suggest some stores where you can buy inexpensive (yet professional) clothes. Even better, Kaz says they'll help them work on their resumes and recommend networking opportunities in their desired field. Important last minute tips: don't chew gum, don't leave your sunglasses on your head, and definitely leave the phone in the car.