USC Dollinger Master of Real Estate Development’s 30th Anniversary

USC Dollinger Master of Real Estate Development’s 30th Anniversary


(soft calming music) – The thing about real estate is, it involves having to understand finance. It involves having to understand how policy works, zoning
works, land use works, and I think there are
people who want to have a degree that says real estate on it. – USC was really the
first program out there or school to offer a graduate-level
degree in real estate. – I jumped at the opportunity to go to school there in the first program, and after I graduated, the
program was immensely helpful. I felt the need to give back
to the program and hopefully train real estate
professionals for the future. – Dollinger Master of Real
Estate Development program was developed in 1986, and so we’ve been doing real estate education
for about 30 years. At the Price School in particular, we have policy, planning and
development under one roof. – It’s great that it’s here in Price because we really do
take a much more balanced to real estate than any other program you’ll see in the country. You need to understand
the politics to make sure that what we build and
provide meets the needs of the community, and have a
way to talk to the community. – Every year, they go
through a tremendous amount of planning to figure out how
to modify all the classes, to make them relevant with what’s going on in real estate at the present. New classes, new professors, as well as the guest speakers. – Being able to refresh with
adjuncts as the market evolves and shifts in change is a critical element to giving students real
time data and information. That balance has really
helped MRED program stay relevant over the last 30 years. – Trying to be a developer as
a young woman was not easy. Being able to say, “well,
in my graduate program, “we did this,” or “in the
MRED program, we did that.” Being able to drop that
in during a meeting, all of a sudden gave me credibility that my age and my sex sort of denied me. I’m involved with the Women
in Real Estate program through Price School as well. – I was so please that we had this Women in Real Estate
luncheon and this panel. Not only did it give
you a great opportunity to network with a lot of fantastic women, but really be able to have representation of women in real estate. – The MRED program really led me to get my first job in
the real estate field. It gave me credibility,
it gave me the knowledge, it gave me the skills that I needed. It was the practical experience that I love about the program, that I value and will value forever. – The MRED degree helped me transition from service provider as a broker to a developer or a sponsor. – I had a lot of initial success. I was what you would call a “back of the envelope developer,” and in 1992 we had a severe
real estate recession. I came about this far
away from going broke. I realized that I had something missing that I needed to find, and what that was, was an advanced education in real estate. – One of the best experiences that I had, being part of the MRED was
being on the NAIOP team. We got really close as
this group of five people, attacking this real estate problem. In the end, we ended up winning, so that was really exciting. Meeting so many people, so many alum, and it was really a fantastic experience. – What I take away most from the MRED is really the networking and
the connections that I have. – [Bob] I got every one of
my jobs after going through the undergrad program here at USC, I got got through USC connection – The real estate industry is one in which network really matters, who you know, who knows
you, the reputation that you’ve developed for yourself, really what drives your
professional success. And so, what we’ll do with our students, is really make sure they
build those connections while they’re in school. Students can interact with alumni, find out what those alumni
do day to day in their jobs, help the students understand
and answer the question, “is that the right career path for me?” – The alumni play a pivotal role for us, in terms of being our
recruiting, mentoring, they are actively part of
the admissions process, and then they help place
students when they graduate. – I was asked to come back and be an adjunct professor
in the MRED program, and I was a professor for 16 years. For me, it was giving service, and giving back to a program
that gave so much to me. – I’ve tried to pay it forward by always having my door open, and always being willing
to meet future MREDs. – I interact with fellow
Trojans all the time, personally, professionally. At Regency, we’re a national company, and we’re building shopping
centers all over the country. And what’s amazing is we’re really tapping into the Trojan network, not just in Southern California
and Northern California, but in all the major
markets across the country. – And the Trojan family is
definitely a very real thing. At our company, I know we always look to hire USC people first. – [Renata] The students that
come out of the MRED program are just ready to hit the ground running. – Supporting people coming back to school and getting their education, I think is incredibly
important to our community. – I was the beneficiary of a scholarship coming though the MRED program. I was the first in my
family to go to college, so to even conceive being
able to go to graduate school at the University of Southern California never entered my mind. Being able to give kids an opportunity, who wouldn’t otherwise
be able to afford it, is critically important. – I was fortunate enough to
receive the Lusk Scholarship, but that was only if I enrolled full time. So I made the decision to go full time, and it was probably the best decision I made as a student here. – Having scholarships
that open up the degree to people of a more diverse background, that understand the stakeholders
in those neighborhoods and understand the kinds of
projects that can get passed, I think would add a lot to our program. – What I’ve gotten out
of the MRED program is, it has given me an opportunity to leave this place a little
bit better than I found it. – This is the city I grew up in. This is the city I’ll probably die in, and so I really would like to be able to have an impact on a smaller scale, that’s a very personal impact, and sort of let my entrepreneurial spirit start to thrive again. – Now that I’ve finished, it
really was the best decision that I could’ve made for my career. – If I did not have my MRED degree, there’s no way I would be in the place that I am in my career. – It’s been fantastic and I’m happy to be a part of the Trojan family. – The program has been
an outstanding example of academic excellence at USC, graduating remarkable students into all aspects of the
real estate industry, who now play leadership roles. And I look so forward
to the next 30 years, and seeing all the accomplishments
of the program ahead. (soft upbeat music)