Industry Internships Pave Way for Mason MS in Real Estate Students

Most students entering the Mason MS in Real Estate Development (MRED) program are experienced real estate professionals with an average of eight years of industry expertise.

But for students who’ve gained their initial real estate experience abroad, or those transitioning into a development career from an allied field, internships facilitated by the MRED program provide the opportunity to gain a tangible foothold on a new career path.

Here are just three of our students engaged in door-opening internships this spring.

Rushabh Shah, The Peterson Companies
• When Rushabh joined the MRED program, he brought with him an undergraduate degree in civil engineering as well as several years of construction management experience on everything from an oil refinery to multi-story apartment buildings in his home town of Ahmedabad, India. He also brought along a desire to someday launch his own construction firm.

Rushabh is currently completing an internship with The Peterson Companies, one of the largest privately owned real estate development companies in the Washington, D.C. region. His work includes researching acquisition and development opportunities; monitoring existing leases, studying proffer costs and helping to streamline condominium settlement and closing procedures.

“It’s been a great opportunity to be involved in so many different aspects of the development process,” he says. “I’m looking forward to putting this knowledge to use in the Northern Virginia region when I graduate this spring.”

Carter Castaneda, Delta Associates

• As a former engineering director for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Carter brings a somewhat unusual Castanedaend-user perspective to the MRED program but his motivation for undertaking the degree makes perfect sense. “In my previous roles, my job had always been to ‘learn the building’ once it was complete; to find its flaws and learn to deal with them,” he relates. “I hope to bring this unique vision to my studies and my new career—working to create feasible real-world development projects and bring them from paper to reality.”

Carter has recently started an internship with Delta Associates, a commercial real estate market research and advisory firm with clients throughout the United States. “I’m looking forward to the chance to gain greater insights into data that informs development decision-making,” he says.

Evgeniia Lebedinskaia, MarBak Development LLC

• From the boulevards of St. Petersburg, Russia, to the streets of Clarendon, Evgeniia is putting her previous development experience and new classroom knowledge to work for MarBak Development, aEvgenia newly formed company with projects underway in Virginia, Maryland and the District. She’s currently working on financial modeling and marketing for a mixed-use project in Clarendon.

“The project is located just a few blocks from my classrooms on Mason’s Arlington campus,” she says. “It’s going to be a mid-rise with underground parking and street-level office, retail and restaurant topped by a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhouses.”

Plus she’s proud to note, the development, scheduled to break ground in the fall, will be LEED Gold certified and offer “exceptional conceptual design.”

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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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