Fall 2011 Newsletter

Volume 5, Issue 2


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Always a happy event . . . .

Marquette University held commencement exercises on May 22, 2011, and the real estate program saw 15 graduates receive degrees. Although they represent the smallest class of real estate majors since 2006, these real estate majors have more opportunities and a brighter job market than most of our past graduating classes. Many graduating students attended national conferences through NAIOP, ULI and ICSC; competed in two different case competitions; and enjoyed dinner and basketball games with high-level industry professionals. In short, through extra-curricular activities, the Marquette Real Estate class of 2011 distinguished themselves in the job market with greater polish and poise and found themselves better prepared to “hit the ground running” than much of the competition.

The graduates had several opportunities to celebrate together as well. On May 14 the REALM Network (Real Estate Alumni Marquette) held a reception welcoming them into the alumni group, and on May 21 the Center hosted a Parent and Family Graduation Reception where graduates and their families could mingle with real estate faculty and staff. These were both first time events.

Best wishes to all graduates as they embark on the next journey in life.

85% of seniors placed in full-time employment and 100% of juniors find internships

Is bullish student placement an industry leading indicator. . . .

The Center is proud to announce that 85% of our graduating seniors have been placed in full-time positions, with nearly 70% of those working in commercial real estate (a vast majority of real estate majors double major, so placing more than 50% in commercial real estate careers indicates a preference for careers in real estate). Additionally, 100% of our juniors seeking internships were placed, with 95% of those in real estate internships. Below is a listing of our recent graduates and their plans for the future. Congratulations to all of you!

  • Nick Chmurski from Brookfield, Wisconsin, graduated with a double major in real estate and finance. He is interning with Johnson Controls on their ManpowerGroup account and will be continuing his education in Law School at Marquette this fall. He can be reached at nicholas.chmurski@marquette.edu.
  • Stephanie Dremonas from Oak Brook, Illinois, graduated with a double major in real estate and finance. She is employed by Mid-America Real Estate in Oak Brook, Illinois, as an assistant asset manager. She can be reached at stephanie.dremonas@gmail.com.
  • John Feeney from Boulder, Colorado, graduated with a double major in real estate and finance. He is working with The Boulder Group in Northbrook, Illinois, as a research analyst. He can be reached at john@bouldergroup.com or jgfeeney@gmail.com.
  • Maggie Hansen from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduated with a double major in real estate and marketing. She was hired by News America Marketing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She can be reached at 7404hansenm@gmail.com.
  • Matt Jahnke from Columbus, Wisconsin, graduated with a double major in real estate and finance. He is employed by CB Richard Ellis in Oak Brook, Illinois, as a financial analyst in the Investment Properties group. He can be reached at matthew.jahnke@cbre.com.
  • Bob Kennedy from Janesville, Wisconsin, graduated with a double major in real estate and supply chain management. He is now working with Rock Road Companies out of Janesville as a foreman. He can be reached at rjkennedy@rockroads.com.
  • Natalie Lyman from St. Paul, Minnesota, graduated with a double major in real estate and international business. She is currently living in Santa Barbara, California, and is pursuing a position in property management. She can be reached at lopezlyman@gmail.com.
  • Cornelius McClendon from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduated with a major in real estate. He is currently working in education but is pursuing a position in commercial lending. He can be reached at cornelius.mcclendon@gmail.com.
  • Brian Meiners from Bloomington, Illinois, graduated with a double major in real estate and marketing. He is currently employed by Time Marketing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as an account manager. He can be reached at b_sox_meiners@yahoo.com.
  • Patrick O'Brien from Lemont, Illinois, graduated with a double major in real estate and marketing. He is now working with Marcus & Millichap Investment Services in Chicago, Illinois, as an investment associate. He can be reached at pobrien8831@gmail.com.
  • Dan Riedel from Gurnee, Illinois, graduated with a double major in real estate and finance. He is currently working in construction but is pursuing a position in brokerage or underwriting. He can be reached at danielriedel091888@gmail.com.
  • Robert Schneider from Mequon, Wisconsin, graduated with a double major in real estate and finance. He is taking some time off and looking into pursing an interest in architecture. He can be reached at rgrady312@gmail.com.
  • Andrew Sinclair from Brookfield, Wisconsin, graduated with a triple major in economics, finance, and real estate. He is working with Palmer Capital, Inc. in Sacramento, California, as an equity investments partner. He can be reached at andrew.sinclair262@gmail.com or at his work email at andy@palmercapital.com.
  • Kevin Stratman from Omaha, Nebraska, graduated with a real estate major.  He is employed by Investors Realty as an associate broker in his home town of Omaha.  Kevin specializes in the leasing and sale of industrial properties in the Omaha, Council Bluffs, and Lincoln metropolitan area.  He can be reached at kstratman@investorsomaha.com.
  • Kellee Tom from Kailua, Hawaii, graduated with a major in Real Estate, with a concentration in finance. She is employed by CB Richard Ellis | Mega in Omaha, Nebraska as an associate broker, specializing in bank OREO properties. She can be reached at ktom@cbremega.com.

Dr. Pennington-Cross’ remarkable year

What will he do for an encore . . . .

Earlier in the year, Dr. Anthony Pennington-Cross was installed as an officer and director for the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, or AREUEA. Founded in 1964, AREUEA is widely considered the top academic real estate association in the world, and publishes the best journal in the field of real estate research, Real Estate Economics. As part of his director duties, he attended the AREUEA’s International conference this past July in South Korea. At the conference, Dr. Pennington-Cross presented new research on mortgage lending, interacted with academics from around the world, and ate kimchi.

Dr. Pennington-Cross is currently working on two research projects. The first is a monograph, which is an all-inclusive analysis of a research topic (his topic is subprime lending and credit rationing). While it is a great deal of work, it is also an honor for Dr. Pennington-Cross to be asked to co-author a monograph as AREUEA/Real Estate Economics has sponsored only three previous monographs in 45 years of existence. Separately, he is putting the finishing touches on another research project which measures the speed at which commercial real estate markets respond to supply changes. In this research he analyzes the office, industrial, retail, and flex space markets in 38 metropolitan areas in the U.S. A cursory review of his findings reveals that office markets respond to additions to supply more slowly than the other property types and that class A space is absorbed much more rapidly than other property types. As most of you might expect, the results vary widely across metro areas. Dr. Pennington-Cross conducted this research with former Masters of Applied Economics student, Maria Ibanez.

One interesting footnote to the research project: Maria Ibanez, who graduated from Marquette in the past year, is now at the University of Chicago studying with economist Steven Levitt. Levitt is widely known for his popular books “Freakonomics” and “Superfreakonomics.”

International Council of Shopping Centers RECon recap

All 11 students return from Las Vegas . . . .

Deals, parties, internships, gambling, and free food, what more could an undergraduate student want? These activities and more marked the Center for Real Estate’s first trip with students to ICSC’s annual conference, RECon, May 22-25 in Las Vegas. Marquette’s group consisted of 11 students, Dr. Pennington-Cross, and Assistant Director Andrew Hunt. The conference drew more than 30,000 people this year, down from years past but with a slight year-over-year rise as developers and retailers are feeling a renewed sense of optimism for the first time since 2007. Brian Gingrass, BusAd/Real Estate ’06, summed up the general feeling of this year’s conference well, “National Retailers expressed much more positive attitudes as retail sales have trended back upwards. Additionally, they appear committed to rolling out new locations in 2012 and 2013.”

Marquette hosted a table at the event, providing excellent exposure for the center/college/university. While there were other universities from around the country also represented at RECon, many of them exclusively brought graduate students to the conference. The MU real estate students in attendance (eight rising seniors, two recent grads, and one graduate student) helped man the table and provided a quality experience for guests. And, although most of the students had already secured summer internships or full-time employment, Paul Monsen, a rising senior from Stoughton, Wisconsin, secured an internship walking the floor of the convention. “I recognized JSD Professional Services from Verona, Wisconsin, on the floor of the convention. They told me they were looking for a summer intern and I ended up applying and getting the job. I don’t think I would have gotten the internship if I hadn’t gone to RECon. They were definitely impressed that an undergraduate student was there!”

Thanks to social media, the Marquette group was also featured in a Business Journal story. Stacy Vogel-Davis, the small business reporter for the Journal, was at the event and using Twitter to report on the conference. After a brief conversation over Twitter between Vogel-Davis and center assistant director Andy Hunt (using the Twitter name @MarquetteCRE), she stopped by the Marquette table where Vogel-Davis met and interviewed several students and Dr. Anthony Pennington-Cross.  Read the full story.

For many of the students, the biggest highlight of the trip was having the opportunity to sit in deal-making discussions. “Mid-America offered several of our students the opportunity to sit down with their brokers during 20-minute, one-on-one deal sessions with retailers. It was exactly the type of applied learning experience we focus on in our program, and we are grateful to Mid-America for this opportunity,” said Hunt. Mid-America also provided students the opportunity to network and enjoy some appetizers (dinner, if you are a student) at the reception. For those that did not get their fill at the Mid-America reception, Peter Bell of Pabst Farms Development rounded up the students and took them for a late-night trip to In-and-Out Burger.

Bill Shiel also provided some good advice and mentorship to the students during the first morning of the conference. Shiel, the former head of real estate at Walgreens, and a national board member for ICSC, spoke privately to the group about what they would experience and how to maximize their time at the conference.

Brian Konyn, a rising senior real estate major, summed up the conference trip stating, “I’m really glad we had the chance to go to RECon. I think it’s an experience every real estate major should have, and I know it will help set me apart when I am applying for my first job this year.”

Real Estate Club fall preview

The students will be busy...

The Real Estate Club has another eventful fall semester planned. Led by President Andrew Deegan and Vice President Kyle McElwee, the group has scheduled three site tours, four speaker events, a resume review event with Betty Bell of Pabst Farms Development, and a trip to Chicago for the Harold E. Eisenberg Career Day which includes speakers and site tours focused on exposing students to the different career paths in commercial real estate.

Club members will also join the Center for Real Estate at the NAIOP Development ’11 conference, October 18-20 in Scottsdale, AZ, and the ULI Fall Meeting conference, October 26-28, in Los Angeles, CA. Please let us know if you will be at either conference!

To read the Club’s fall preview and see their upcoming events, please visit their website at http://www.marquetteuniversityrec.com.

Scholarship and award winners

Congratulations to all our students who earned academic, leadership, and scholarship awards this year!

Center for Real Estate Academic Award
Stephanie Dremonas, Class of 2011
Maggie Hansen, Class of 2011 

Center for Real Estate Leadership Award
Kevin Stratman, Class of 2011

Quarles and Brady Scholarship
Maggie Brueggen, Class of 2012

James R. Imhoff Scholarship
Kayley Carswell, Class of 2013
Erwin Soon Wei Jin, Class of 2012
Brian Konyn, Class of 2012
Patrick Reardon, Class of 2012

ICSC Scholarship
Stephanie Dremonas, Class of 2011

A letter from Center Director Dr. Mark Eppli

A busy summer of planning leads to a new vision for the CRE

Next week classes begin and there is no better time to be on campus than when the students return.  Actively sharing their summer experiences and comparing suntans, students are filled with optimism about the coming academic year, MU sports, and new friends and relationships – being back at school.  It is a time of great freedom as the weighty load of problem sets, case studies, assigned readings, quizzes, exams, and student study groups has yet to set in – I am sure you all recall those days with great fondness.

The Center for Real Estate finds itself in a similar position of optimism and growth.  Over the summer we contemplated the strategic role for the Center for the coming five years.  The mission of the Center remains unchanged, which is to provide the commercial real estate community with innovative, effective, ethical real estate decision-makers through superior applied learning experiences, relevant research, and valuable community outreach.  However, our vision has changed.  In the first years of the Center, our focus was on establishing the role of the Center and setting forth the policies, procedures, and program initiatives to allow the Center to flourish. 

With the Center infrastructure in place, the revised vision for the Center is to be a nationally recognized leader among real estate programs by being national in scope, maintaining a quality program, and enhancing program exposure.  Details on how we will realize this vision are being finalized and will be sent to you in late September.  As the other articles in the newsletter reveal, we have also been busy implementing program plans.  With the able assistance of Andy Hunt, Assistant Director of the CRE, 85% of the graduating seniors have been placed in full-time employment and 100% of the juniors majoring in real estate and seeking summer work found internships, with 95% of those working in real estate.  The students have also been engaged in a range of rich extra-curricular activities that have them stand out in job interviews.  These external activities also engage our students in their classroom work and elevate in-class discussions.  On the research side of the Center, Dr. Anthony Pennington-Cross has had an incredible year of successes, from receiving the best paper award from Real Estate Economics, to being invited to write and all-inclusive monograph on subprime lending and credit rationing, to becoming part of the leadership of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.  Through the Center’s student engagement and Dr. Pennington-Cross’s remarkable research leadership, we have already begun to meet our goals of being a quality, national program that is recognized by peers as a leader.

Dr. Mark Eppli is the Bell Chair in Real Estate at Marquette University and the Director of the Center for Real Estate. He can be reached at mark.eppli@marquette.edu