The MIT/CRE Philosophy
Career services is an important consideration for an applicant to any degree program. Career development at the MIT Center for Real Estate is based on the following philosophy:
- One's career is an integral part of one's life, and career-life planning is an ongoing process.
- Career development at MIT/CRE is based on a partnership between students and the Center, with individuals taking the initiative and the Center providing support on several levels.
- The goals of the Center are to provide information to make students knowledgeable about the industry; provide a set of skills that will serve to maximize the effectiveness of each individual's job search; and offer multiple opportunities to make personal connections with industry decision-makers.
- MIT does not promise graduates a job, but successful completion of the program does mean that graduates have the skills, knowledge, and resources to be eminently employable.
Career Planning Paradigm
Undoubtedly pursuing a Master of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) is the outgrowth of a career planning process, but career planning is an ongoing, reiterative process. It has four components:
- "Getting There"
The assessment phase can be triggered by what have been called "inflection points," career changes that are initiated by company, industry, or personal events. Inflection points are times when you stop and assess where you are in your career. During the assessment phase you ask questions: Who am I? Where am I? How did I get here? What are my skills: are they largely interpersonal, analytical, or conceptual? What motivates me: achievement, affiliation, or power? Are there trends in my career in terms of the type of work I do or the role that I play? Are there consistent values that have affected my career decisions, e.g., risk-taking, knowledge, stability, service, or profit?
As you assess, you may decide that you are "on track" for your ultimate career objective, but that conclusion will generally be the result of some level of evaluation.
During the evaluative phase, you try to determine where you want to be, what you want to do, and how you want to get there. Your goal is to determine your priorities in the following areas:
- Organizational conditions - flexible, self-employed, or large companies
- Job conditions - team work, long-term projects, or highly supervised work
- Physical environment - indoors or outdoors, private office or common work area, home office or office building
- Industry/Sector - Investment, finance, asset management, development, etc.
Based on your assessment and evaluation of your career, you start to make plans. You explore, research, and develop a strategy. You may talk to colleagues about career or educational possibilities, attend career or job fairs, or conduct a web-based inquiry of real estate-related career options. Once you have completed your research, formal or informal, you develop a strategy for achieving your ultimate objective.
"Getting There" — MIT/CRE's Role
"Getting There" is the means by which you pursue your career objectives. It is your strategy, your plan, for achieving your career goals. Attending MIT may be one aspect of your plan, but it generally is not the end point. Career services at the MIT Center for Real Estate is not predicated on getting you a job, but rather on giving you the skills, information, and opportunity necessary to achieve your career goals.
During the fall, workshops on resume writing, interviewing, and networking are scheduled, with job hunting and negotiation skills workshops scheduled during the spring semester. Our objective is to maximize your ability to purse the job you desire and present yourself effectively.
The informational component of the program is high, both formal and informal. Classroom activities serve to expand your frame of reference and your ability to understand "the big picture" from multiple vantage points.
The Center also hosts a number of elective, informal, highly interactive seminars. The Leaders in Real Estate series features the perspectives of senior-level executives. Recent speakers have included Harry Frampton of East-West Partners, Stephen Ross of The Related Companies, and Jonathan Rose of Jonathan Rose and Companies.
In the Career Profile series, professionals (largely alumni and representatives from Member companies) discuss different slices of the real estate industry, e.g., asset management vs. investment management, advisory services, corporate real estate, real estate finance, acquisitions, entrepreneurship.
Furthermore, we have had industry leaders come in to discuss sector trends, i.e., developments in the resort, industrial and retail sectors. At the end of the year, you should have both an intellectual understanding of the breadth and inter-relationships of the real estate industry and a practical one.
Finally, the ability to be successfully employed is often determined by your knowledge of a company's activities, culture, and practices. These types of insights can be gained from talking to the decision makers directly.
Opportunities to increase professional networks are provided through on-campus presentations by real estate companies, informal lectures by leading practitioners, networking events and research partnerships with industry. Students are invited to the Center's semi-annual Members meetings and Alumni Association events. The Center's Partner group is comprised of senior management from the real estate industry's elite companies. The Alumni Association events offer an opportunity to interact with some of the Center's graduates. With over 700 alumni throughout the world, the Center's alumni network provides an unparalleled resource.