A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about George Mason Masters in Real Estate Development Program competing in the 2013 NAIOP Capital Challenge. After weeks of hard work, one very long written report and two presentations later, the winner of this year’s competition was unveiled. And the winner is….(drum roll)… George Mason University!
This experience is the best part of my education in the George Mason Real Estate Development program so far. First, I simply don’t get to do this in my day job. Being a small time real estate investor, I do not get to work on any project of this scale and complexity. Second, we always say that real estate is an interdisciplinary sport, no one can be an expert in all things real estate. This competition allowed all of us to work collaboratively and play to our individual strengths and learn from each other. Third, we worked with world class consultants who generously gave us crash courses on a variety of subjects. For me personally, I learned more than I ever imagined knowing about market analyses of hotels and integrated amenity retail. Finally, the level of support and guidance from our faculty advisors Bob Wulff and Mark Hassinger was simply invaluable. Their commitment to the team carried us through those late night meetings.
All of that would have been enough for me. The Mason Team (we called ourselves Patriot Consulting) competed against three of the best graduate real estate programs in the region, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland and Georgetown University. The award celebration was the first time all the teams were allowed to get a glimpse of the development plans the other teams came up with. When we heard the presentations from the other teams, we knew that the competition was fierce and every team had creative and well-thought-out plans. When George Mason was announced as the winner of the Competition, the Mason table just erupted!