Without any hesitation whatsoever, I can say that I would not be where I am today, both personally and professionally, without the Rutgers Center for Real Estate.
I graduated from Rutgers Business School, with concentrations in both Real Estate and Finance in May of 2017. Specific to the Real Estate concentration, my course load consisted of Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Development, and Real Estate Law. It’s rare to be taught by teachers with as much expertise and gravitas in the industry as Rutgers can boast, and it certainly helped push my skills and work ethic to the areas that they needed to be in order to succeed. I was also the recipient of 2 scholarships, which were essential in helping me complete my education. Without any hesitation whatsoever, I can say that I would not be where I am today, both personally and professionally, without the Rutgers Center for Real Estate. Each and every professor made themselves available at my request to speak both in school and off campus to offer not only their professional advice, but personal as well. It’s not about just passing on knowledge to them, it’s about forging relationships—and that’s paramount to me.
Rutgers connection to Somerset Development, and Ralph Zucker—it’s President, is one of the many unique connections it has that enables students to see all aspects of the real estate industry. In the Summer of 2016, I interned in the development department at Somerset Development, in the Bell Works building in Holmdel, NJ. My first day on the job, I toured a potential acquisition, sat with a lender to discuss financing, and consulted with engineers on costs. Day one. I hadn’t even set foot in at a desk yet and I was already waist deep in a new project. A few months later, I’m sitting across the table in a negotiation with Ron Ladell, who’s Real Estate Law class I just so happened to be taking contemporaneously. It’s opportunities like that to are hard to come by, but Rutgers has plenty to offer.
At the end the internship, I was brought on full-time as an Associate while I finished the few classes I needed to graduate. I continued to work at Somerset Development as an Associate for the next year and a half. This past May, I was named Vice President of Acquisitions & Development at Somerset and am now managing multiple developments with values in excess of $500M. To go from Intern to Vice President in 2 years is not something I had ever considered as a possibility, but the curriculum, and more importantly the people at the Rutgers Center for Real Estates gave me everything that I needed to accomplish just that.