Jake Alexander

Current Ambassador Position/Program: M.S. in Real Estate Student Ambassador

Program (Full-Time, Part-Time): Part-Time

Current Employer: JLL

Position: Real Estate Analyst

Anticipated Graduation: 2021 - 2022

Undergraduate Institution and Degree: College of Charleston - Business Administration, Hospitality & Tourism, Real Estate

Favorite Place in Charlotte: NoDa

Hometown: Huntersville, NC

Dream Job: C-Suite Executive for a real estate company

Graduate Student
Master of Science in Real Estate

What degree are you pursuing and why? 

I’m pursuing a Master of Science in Real Estate because it has always been a personal goal of mine to earn a master’s degree. I’ve been told multiple times by real estate professionals that a master’s degree isn’t necessary for the real estate industry, but I know this degree will advance me further and hopefully qualify me for an executive-level position down the road. 

Why did you choose the Belk College of Business over others?

Belk College of Business is a very attractive and highly reputable business school, especially in Charlotte and the Carolinas. The M.S. in Real Estate program appealed to me because of its flexible curriculum and optionality to attend school part-time and work full-time. 

Tell us about your job. What lessons have you learned in your courses that you were able to apply on the job?

I’m an analyst for JLL’s Carolinas Capital Markets team, and my daily responsibilities comprise conducting market research, underwriting property financials, evaluating those properties and creating client deliverables. Every class I have taken thus far in the MSRE program has been directly applicable to my day job. Whether it’s evaluating stock volatility, analyzing site feasibility or constructing discount cash flow models, I take with me almost everything I learn in class and apply it to my day-job tasks and projects. 

What do you hope to accomplish this year in your role as an Ambassador?

My goal as an Ambassador is to raise awareness of the MSRE program to more real estate companies. As well connected as the Belk College of Business’ MSRE program is to the Charlotte real estate industry, I want our students on the frontline to be considered for internships, job opportunities and mentorship programs with all the major real estate players in the region. I know we compete with other strong universities in the Carolinas, but we should be the “no brainers” due to our students’ overall real estate industry and market knowledge. 

As the Belk College of Business celebrates its 50th anniversary, what has been your favorite memory as a student?

So far, I would say my fondest memory as a student would be Fall 2019 finals. Two of my classmates and I were taking two of the hardest finance classes in the program, and we had both finals within a couple of days of each other. We set up a study room at The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City, had our coffee, brought snacks, and studied for hours and hours. Although the actual studying was brutal, my favorite part was that my classmates and I were doing it together, in support of each other. We looked rough, had gotten minimal sleep, and were stressed about the exams, but we were there for each other - a defining moment that led us to be friends and industry contacts to this day. 

What has been the best part of your academic experience so far?

The connections made, without a doubt. The MSRE program at the Belk College of Business is an incredibly well-connected school, and most, if not all, of my classmates, are in the real estate industry. It’s great working on a project with your industry colleagues in the “real world,” then from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, you and those colleagues are working on projects together for school. The program helps connect the dots within the giant real estate industry network. 

How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone considering a master’s degree program?

The Belk College of Business provides you the opportunities and resources to advance your knowledge and challenge your skillsets. The school, its faculty and staff, and its resources position you to be successful, but it’s up to you to take advantage of that position to make your graduate experience worth it and to reap its benefits.

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