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Commercial Real Estate as a Career?

UCREW Event Hilights Opportunities for Women in Commercial Real Estate

Submitted by Lindsey Pfaender, Rollins MBA, Class of 2010

cn_logoReal Estate?  No way I thought.  I have educated myself entirely too much to join a career that doesn’t require a college degree.  What no one told me during my four years at Florida State and throughout my masters program at Crummer was COMMERCIAL Real Estate is an incredible career to start, offering a very wide variety of disciplines, and can be very financially rewarding.  And the icing on the cake, there are VERY few women that even enter this industry.

My name is Lindsey Pfaender and I graduated from Rollins Crummer Graduate Program in May of 2010.  At that time I was selling condos at The VUE at Lake Eola in order to pay my tuition, never thinking that I would stay in real estate upon graduation.  Finalizing my last semester, I interviewed for standard marketing jobs, financial analytics, the “standard” positions that I could work my way up the corporate ladder in a company.  I never really got excited about any of the prospective jobs until a gentleman that I knew from my little real estate world at The VUE approached me and asked if I would be interested in joining his team as a Multifamily Broker,  I did not even know what multifamily meant at that time (selling apartment complexes).  It was a commission only position, but very entrepreneurial and instead of focusing on the “no-salary” aspect, I approached the opportunity as the “no-ceiling to your paycheck” and gave it a shot.  I have been a Multifamily Broker with Cushman and Wakefield for three years now and cannot tell you enough how challenging and rewarding it has been.

I would like to encourage all women who are still deciding what exactly they want to do upon graduation to attend our UCREW event on October 25th at the TLC office in Downtown Orlando.  Please download and review the UCREW13_Flyer for details and registration instructions. You will be exposed to many career paths available to you in Commercial Real Estate like interior design, project management, banking, law, and brokerage just to name a few.  We also have INTERNSHIP opportunities available.  Hope to meet you all there!


You graduated- now what? (The most cliché of all blog titles.)

Submitted by Michelle Preston, Class of 2012

Fall 2009: I was going to graduate college in three and a half years. I was to go to grad school in that open semester, and graduate with my Master’s a semester early.  That was the plan.  There’s always a plan in the fall of your freshman year, but life never works out exactly like you planned.  I am proud to say that I graduated last month, December 2012, with my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; never changed my major, never struggled to graduate early.  Perfect.  Check.  Grad school?  We shall see.

Graduating before my friends in the Class of 2013, yet after the Class of 2012, put me in a position that made me very independent.  I became “real-life stressed” just as the seniors last year were finding out about their post-grad jobs and graduate school applications, and long before my friends who are seniors now began thinking about life after college.  I thought I had to figure out my whole life in my last semester, while balancing massive extracurriculars, a full-time course load, constant “We have to go (insert location here) before you graduate!”, a part time job, and a volunteer position at the Florida Hospital for Children.

The answer I found as to what I’m going to do with my life?  I still don’t know, but I did learn that that’s okay.  As a recent grad with a psychology degree, I’m trying to answer the extremely popular question of–to go to grad school, or not?  With the help of my family and some wonderful mentors, I am figuring this out.  In looking at the largest companies in Central Florida, I realized that I had managed to put myself in two of the big ones: The Walt Disney World Company, and the Florida Hospital.  I am currently keeping my part-time role at Disney in order to network and use the internal hiring system, as well as the fact that I get paid to be a pirate, play with kids, and advise people about where they should eat dinner in EPCOT.  Who could ask for better interim position?

I have found, while doing extensive job research, that my love of people and my knack for reading them may be leading me towards human resources and recruiting work.  Resulting from friends and professional connections, I have a meet and greet scheduled with a Casting Agent at Disney to learn how she ended up in recruiting, to find out more about the profession, and to do a little networking, of course.  There are many internships in human resources- some paid, some unpaid, but hey- I graduated early.  Isn’t right now the perfect time to be figuring this out?

I have never been the type of person to make a five year plan and stick to it as if it were my only hope.  I honestly have no idea what the next five years hold for me.  What do I know?  I know that I love people, and I will probably fit in wherever I end up.  I have a pretty awesome resume thanks to my experiences at Rollins, research experience from the Psych Department, great professor and staff connections, and a college degree from a school very highly respected by companies.  I even have a pretty comprehensive “Linked In” page, complete with a personal statement!   I’m not sure if the world actually is my oyster, but it certainly feels like it.

As I said to my first-year mentees all semester, “In the end, you have to follow your own path- live your dreams, and other people will support you for it.”  I suppose it’s time to listen to my own advice.

Career Satisfaction and Meaningful Relationships – A Recent Alum’s Perspective

Submitted by Chelsea Dygan, Class of 2010

Chelsea%20SmallI am not an expert on career satisfaction.  Nor am I an expert on relationships.  But I have a hunch that the two are related.

I don’t mean to imply that satisfied employees are ones that find romantic love at work (although that probably keeps things interesting for a while).

After nearly two whole years in the world of work (Wow, get this girl a pension!), I’ve come to suspect that the best way to earn a living, and perhaps the only way to contribute meaningfully to society, is to surround yourself with people you like.  And, more importantly, to be someone likeable.

The boss.
My boss probably won’t read this (unless she Googles me), but I’ll say it anyway: Jen is a damn good boss.  She labors hard for our company, but models a healthy balance between life and work.  She shows genuine interest in my day-to-day activities, but trusts me to accomplish things independently. Perhaps most importantly, she champions a clear vision for the future of our organization, but is open to new ideas and different ways of operating. It’s important that my supervisees would say the same nice things about me.

The coworkers.
We’re all busy. Our generation has an IPhone in our ear, a Frappuccino in one hand, and we’re typing with the other–while driving.  And, I would venture that most of us have this sneaking feeling that if we put any of that stuff down, we’ll be fired and homeless. But at least once a day, I seek to recondition my behavior. I sit gadget-free across from Beverly and listen to a story about her granddaughter.  I write a note to Lourdes because she’s a talented teacher.  Just yesterday, I spent some time jamming to Christmas carols with Lee, who has impressively decorated his office.  I try to look at people almost as much as I look at computers, if only to prevent eye disorders.  But mostly because I want us to be friends.

The clients.
My field is outreach, prevention and development for a local non-profit.  My “clients” range from people seeking counseling services, to Chamber of Commerce members who might attend the January fundraiser.  I learned early on that I spout nonsense and slowly lose my mind if I choose to behave differently depending on the audience.  My solution has been to behave like “myself” in most situations, unless that situation requires me to be real quiet.  I seek authenticity in my interactions, and I’m never confused.

During the holiday season, you might expect a lovey-dovey blog post, but I mean it.  My work wisdom is this – find people who will take care of you, and take fiercely good care of them in return.

Chelsea Dygan is the Associate Director of Development, Outreach and Prevention at The Grove Counseling Center in Orlando

Maintaining Your Network

Submitted by Leah Nash, Class of 2000
Chief Innovator at Trusted Source

 It’s very easy to take an internship, finish up a class or work briefly somewhere and never talk to a person from there again.  But, in all honesty, I don’t advise it.  Burning bridges, or not tending to your network of key contacts, is not a good practice.  It’s much better to keep in touch with people you like because a) it’s fun, and b) those people may be really good contacts for you in the future.  Connections are crucial and may just give you the edge that you need when you find that oh-so-perfect job later in life.

And guess what, nowadays, it’s really easy to stay in touch with almost everyone through social media, AND, you have so many different options!  Want to keep it professional?  Connect with your colleagues through LinkedIn.  Made a new friend?  Keep up with them through Facebook.  Just have similar interests?  Twitter may be the way for you to keep up with these folks.  The point is, it doesn’t really matter so much how you stay in touch, just try to do it.  You will find that it’s a small world out there.  If you’re going to stick around O-town, it’s really small.

What’s an Informational Interview?  During my career, there have been plenty of times when I connected with people through informational interviews.  Informational interviews are when you make an appointment with someone just to talk to them about what they do and find out more about their story.  They usually do not have a job or internship to offer you.  You just want to find out more about them.  Most of the time, after an informational interview, you’ll find that you have a new advocate in your corner and a great new key contact to add to your network.

When deciding with whom to schedule an informational interview, consider taking a look at people who you really admire.  Shoot them a professional email, connect with them through LinkedIn or give their office a call.  It may take some time, and if you’re willing to wait, you can probably get on his/her schedule.  I think that you will find informational interviews to be extremely valuable.  For the most part, I have found people usually want to help others if they can.

Maintaining your network is just as important as developing your network.  Much like in social media relations, you must maintain your new relationships in a relevant fashion.  It may take time, but it will pay off in the end.

Trusted Source is an Orlando based marketing firm.  Contact Leah Nash at for more information on Trusted Source internship opportunities.  Internship opportunities are also posted at the Rollins R-CareerLink.

Advice to Seniors from a 2012 Rollins Graduate

Submitted by Catherine Brown, Class of 2012

Congratulations! You’ve made it to senior year, an accomplishment in itself! As a recent graduate, I am going to share a few of my insights since I was in your shoes this time last year.

First and foremost, enjoy yourself.
You have made it through three hard years of college (which is more than the majority of the population can say) but focus on your studies–you don’t want to undo all the hard work that got you to this point.

Get your resume in shape.
At the same time, bring your resume up to date and begin deciding what information is no longer relevant.  For example, do you really need to include your camp counselor position you did right after high school on your resume if you’ve just completed a summer internship last term?  If you are not sure what to keep or remove, take your resume into Career Services, who will be more than happy to help you work through some of these questions.   For me, making friends with the staff in Career Services was one of the smartest moves I made.  Everyone in the office bent over backwards helping me with my resume, prepping me for interviews or any other need I had pertaining to my job search.

Gain some marketable experience.
While updating your resume, if you notice your relevant experience section is lacking, find an internship ASAP!  By this point in college, all seniors should have completed at least one internship, if not two.  Internships are the best ways to try out and experience the career field you would like to pursue.   If you are like me and unsure of what career field you want to pursue, internships serve as a great way to narrow down the field and decide on career options that are best for you. Read More…

Alumni Find Perfect Fit with City Year

Submitted by Christopher McCauley, Class of 2011

It was a hot and humid day towards the end of July, and I woke up in my un-air conditioned room with a feeling.  I didn’t know what that feeling was, so naturally, I decided to log on to my Facebook page to see if that would help.

And there it was:  a post by the Rollins College Office of Community Engagement:  Hey Alumni!  It’s not too late to apply for City Year Miami.

I thought to myself, well this is interesting.  I had known for a while about what City Year did, but had never considered pursuing it.   I started to get excited, and immediately decided that I would apply.

Then it hit me.  I am in New York, and am not prepared or willing to move to Miami.  This posed a problem.

Wait a minute—City Year MUST be in New York.  I looked on their website.  They are.  And they are still looking for Corps Members.  This was my lucky day.

I read the entire website and immediately knew that this was something I needed to be a part of.  I started and finished my application that morning.  Without hesitation, I called my references, explained to them what City Year was about, and they wrote me two very beautiful recommendations—I am very grateful for that. Read More…

My Internship Sucks!

Submitted by Leah Nash, Class of 2000
Chief Innovator at Trusted Source

I hope that your internship opportunity never truly sucks.  But I do want you to know that it is okay if your internship is not great.  Internships are the perfect way to figure out what you really like and what you really don’t like about your potential career field.  After all, your time in college and internships help you determine what you will be doing for your career (at least your first one – and it is okay to have multiple careers in your life but that’s a topic for another day.)

So it is okay if you don’t L-O-V-E your internship and what it entails. You may go into an internship believing that you are going to love event planning and realize that you absolutely hate it.  THAT IS OKAY.  So you don’t love event planning and it took one semester of your entire life to realize it, you’re fine. Read More…