This past week has been kind of a blur. After late nights at McCombs, early flights, and endless preparation for the UNC Real Estate Development Challenge, all of our hard work came together and really paid off. Out of 16 teams from Top 20 MBA programs in the US and Europe, we won first place in the challenge, and it was a blast.
This year, the case was based in Houston and we were presented with the challenge of preparing a development presentation with a plan of how we would use the space. Our team focused on a 10 year project with four major phases. Our main focuses were on affordable residential development, an HEB grocery store, outdoor park space along the bayou, and some mid-rise offices in the long term.
Our team was comprised of Richard Long, Ziad Haddad, Mason Gilmore, and myself. The four of us brought in our background experiences in finance, real estate lending, architecture, and construction management. We were able to divide up the work and everyone had a crucial contribution the the plan. In the end, we knew we had a great development, and we were excited to present.
Once we found out we were going to the finals, we were thrilled. We rehearsed a few more times, and presented to a room full of judges and students with our highest hopes. We waited for the judges to deliberate, and finally, we were given our first prize winnings of $10,000.
I literally cannot put the excitement we felt into words. This was easily the most rewarding moment of my entire MBA experience. The opportunity to compete in such a challenging competition is a learning experience I will never forget.
I’m still so excited about all of this and can’t wait to light the UT Tower burnt orange with my teammates in honor of our national victory!