Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Finding Tomorrow's CREF Professionals: A Job Forum in Washington, D.C., Helped College Students Learn More about the Commercial Real Estate Finance Business. the Mortgage Bankers Association Helped Bring Together the Companies and the Students

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Finding Tomorrow's CREF Professionals: A Job Forum in Washington, D.C., Helped College Students Learn More about the Commercial Real Estate Finance Business. the Mortgage Bankers Association Helped Bring Together the Companies and the Students

Article excerpt

What do you get when you mix 12 commercial real estate finance (CREF) firms, seven universities and 200-plus college students? [paragraph] How about a wildly successful evening of promoting careers in the $2.4 trillion commercial/multifamily real estate finance industry and finding tomorrow's mortgage banking professionals. [paragraph] That's what happened on Oct. 1 in Washington, D.C., as the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and its member firms hosted the inaugural CREF Careers Forum. [paragraph] The event was the brainchild of MBA's Commercial/Multifamily Human Resources (HR) Roundtable. The roundtable, which began a little more than two years ago, is a forum for HR professionals from commercial/multifamily real estate finance firms to come together and hear from outside experts, discuss issues with peers and share best practices.

The idea for the CREF Career Forum surfaced at the group's meeting in May 2013 and, after just four months of intense planning and preparation, it became reality in October.

The event

E.J. Burke, the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA's) chairman, and executive vice president-group head at KeyBank Real Estate Capital, Cleveland, stood before a group of more than 200 students from seven Washington, D.C.-area universities and introduced a panel of industry leaders.

The panel included Daniel Cunningham, senior vice president, PNC Multifamily Capital; Jeff Day, chief executive officer, Berkeley Point Capital LLC; Pattie Farrell, managing director, Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital; Nancy Ferrell, senior vice president-managing director, NorthMarq Capital; Mike McRoberts, managing director, Prudential Mortgage Capital Co.; Jeff Majewsld, senior managing director and chief operating officer, CBRE Capital Markets.

"When I was a student, there wasn't anything like this," Matt Cypher, director of Georgetown University's Real Estate Finance Initiative in Washington, D.C., told the students.

"It's a great opportunity for you to place where you fit within the broader capital markets. It's a tremendous opportunity that I think is very unique, and we are very proud to be hosting it here at Georgetown."

The students were in store for an evening of information, insights question-and-answer sessions and career tips.

First, the industry leaders shared their experiences and helped the students understand just how large and dynamic the commercial/multifamily mortgage banking industry is.

Next, students heard about "real life" in the commercial real estate finance business from a group of their future col-leagues--young professionals ranging from producers to analysts to underwriters to special asset managers.

Then, a group of recruiters offered tips on how to get into the industry and how to make the most of one's time once there.

The evening ended with a reception and job fair, during which students met the speakers and spoke with recruiters about internships, jobs and careers in the industry and at the sponsoring firms.

How engaged were the students? After more than two hours of panels and another 45 minutes at the reception/job fair, students would not leave. The job fair was extended an additional 40 minutes to give everyone--students and recruiters alike--more time to meet, share resumes and discuss the future.

The idea

In April 2013, a group of human resources professionals from MBA's commercial/multifamily real estate finance member firms--MBA's Commercial/Multifamily HR Roundtable--came together at MBA's headquarters in Washington to discuss a range of issues facing HR professionals. They talked about everything from commercial real estate market fundamentals to training and education to the Affordable Care Act. Also covered was a presentation and discussion centered on university real estate programs.

Specifically, participants talked about the search for young talent, a push for greater diversity and a need to fill in the junior ranks of industry professionals. …

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