Internships Integral to These Students Mason MRED Experience

September 4, 2013

Student Perspectives

While many of Mason’s MRED students are part-time scholars by night and full-time employees by day, for others their graduate studies are a full-time venture.   And for many of these students, an internship in the local real estate development community has been an integral part of their Mason learning experience.

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Mariana Sonu

When Mariana Sonu joined the Mason MRED program in 2012 fresh from her position as a Financial Controller with Cushman and Wakefield in Romania, she brought a uniquely valuable perspective to the classroom.

“I was the fortunate product of a young generation that had the historic opportunity to witness the fall of communism and enjoy the benefits of a newly-formed free society,” said Mariana in her MRED application.

Mariana was committed to including an internship in her graduate program.  This spring she accepted a position as a property budgets and acquisitions intern at Rosenthal Properties LLC, a commercial real estate investing, managing and leasing company.

“I’m involved in the acquisition analysis for an industrial property and I’m learning to model it with Argus software.  Learning how to create proforma models in my MRED classes has really prepared me to understand how to model an investment opportunity.”  Mariana will graduate from Mason this Fall.

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Paul Apostolakis

To say that Paul Apostolakis has made a splash in the Mason MRED program since his arrival would be true on several levels.  Paul came to Mason to pursue graduate study in real estate and to train as a diver representing the US in the 2014 Olympics in Rio. (He is a record-holding former Division 1 athlete from Rider University.)  In the two years since his college graduation, he launched his real estate career, working in asset management for Allied Properties in Brooklyn.

While injury has sidelined Paul’s Olympic aspirations, the pace of his immersion in the Northern Virginia real estate arena may be record setting in its own right.  As a residential development analyst/intern for The Peterson Companies, Paul is creating proformas and budget scenarios to analyze multiple investment variables.

“The Mason MRED program has opened doors to a number of opportunities. This program has been a turning point in my career, allowing me to reach my full potential.”  Paul plans to graduate in May 2014.

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About Janet Palmisano

I am the program coordinator for the Masters in Real Estate Development at George Mason University's School of Business.

View all posts by Janet Palmisano

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