Over 4,000 students have participated in the Hines Competition since its first year in 2003. This is the third in an ongoing series of interviews with past Hines Competition finalists and winners about their experience competing and how both ULI and the competition have had an impact on their professional lives.
Real Estate Development, Construction, Architecture
University of Colorado, Boulder
2005, Salt Lake Valley
What field do you work in today? What kind of path did you take to get to your current career?
I am currently working in the real estate development/ investment field. I have built a portfolio of multifamily properties which I have bought, redeveloped and continue to maintain. I obtained a Bachelor of Architecture and an MBA focused in real estate development. Prior to obtaining my MBA I worked as an architect for five years. After obtaining my MBA I worked for a large real estate investment company as a development project manager for four years. During my time as a development project manager I managed all aspects of the development process for residential development deals ranging from $30 million to $120 million.
Describe your experience of participating in the competition. Where there any decisions your team made you felt helped you make to the finalist stage?
Our team of five people worked tirelessly on every detail of the development plan. There was an unconditional effort on everyone’s part through the duration of the entire competition. Everyone put their best foot forward from start to finish. As the competition advanced the team members worked in a collaborative fashion leveraging one another’s strengths to advance the proposal in the best manner possible. Our team had constant constructive discourse. We expressed our individual opinions and views while respecting others conflicting opinions. This allowed for a fruitful integration of multiple ideas from multiple sources. The combination of an unrelenting effort on everyone’s part and our diverse skill sets helped us win the competition.
How did the experience of working in an interdisciplinary team help broaden your understanding of real estate development?
Real Estate Development requires input and professional skill from countless sources. The interdisciplinary team composition reflects the reality in the professional world. The competition was a great introduction to understanding the interdependence of multiple disciplines while managing conflicting priorities with seemingly unachievable deadlines.
Any advice for current Hines Competition participants, most of whom are also soon-to-be graduates starting their careers in real estate, urban design, and related fields?
Pick a discipline that you love and give it everything you got!