MS in Real Estate Development Student Profile

EvgeniaEvgeniia Lebedinskaia arrived on the Mason campus from Russia in Spring 2014 ready to tackle the challenges of the MS in Real Estate Development program. And we mean ready.

A graduate of St. Petersburg State University. she held a management position with a BNP Paribas company, working on one of the biggest re-development projects in Russia at the time—transforming a large, obsolete steel construction plant into a new industrial park.

Now in her second year at Mason, Evgeniia feels she has found a home for herself and her six-year-old son, along with the knowledge and confidence to take her real estate career to the next level here in the United States.

What has been the most significant return on your real estate studies at Mason?

The system of education in my country is very different and one of the most surprising things I’ve found here is how helpful everyone has been. Our professors want us to succeed. I’m grateful for their knowledge and to know that I can rely on them to share their visions and their constructive criticism.

What have you found to be the most beneficial class so far?

My favorite so far has been Professor Mike Vanderpool’s real estate law and land appraisal class. It was one of my first classes in the US and I was terrified in the beginning. But everything I learned, I’ve continued to use in my subsequent classes. And now I know that the most appropriate answer to any tricky real estate question is “It depends.”

Have there been any  challenges along the way?

When I started, I thought I’d be able to apply some of my industry knowledge to my studies. I was wrong. But even through I’ve sometimes felt like I was starting over, it’s been an incredibly positive experience. Not only have I gained the knowledge, but I’ve also gained confidence. And maybe most importantly, I’ve become part of a very close circle of young real estate professionals. I feel blessed to have these fellow students to share the experience with me.


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Janet Palmisano

Janet Palmisano is a member of the Recruiting and Admissions team at the George Mason University School of Business.

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