Diversity and Inclusion in Real Estate 2023 Fall Career Trek

By: Shana Kathleen Claar
New York City skyline at dawn

By Joane Kim ’24 (ILR)

On November 17th, 2023 Diversity and Inclusion in Real Estate (DAIRE) brought 25 club members to New York City for the organization’s third career trek with the help of the Center for Real Estate and Finance (CREF). The group visited the headquarters of JLL and went on a development tour of Brookfield Properties’ development, One Manhattan West. DAIRE is dedicated to advancing career and investment opportunities in real estate for undergraduate students of underrepresented backgrounds.

DAIRE students in New York City posing for a picture

DAIRE members heard from industry professionals and Cornell alumni at JLL Hotels and Hospitality, who gave the group a presentation regarding the current state of the hotel market and an overall capital markets update. There was also a panel with career advice and words of wisdom for the students, who are all pursuing careers in various sectors of real estate. Later at One Manhattan West, members met with a recent Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration graduate and two high-level executives who gave an in-depth tour of the entire mixed-use development and explained the various decisions and factors that went into developing the iconic properties. They were able to tour the residential, hotel, and office components, giving them great insight into how a mixed-use development is built and operates. This trek has brought our DAIRE community even closer and we cannot wait for future learning opportunities!

Students listening to a presentation

From the students’ perspective

“First off, I wanted to thank CREF and our corporate sponsors for this trek because without your support, this would not have been possible. The trek was truly an eye opening experience to the world of real estate for me. I had the opportunity to talk and hear from industry professionals that are leaders in their space. Moreover, I explored and learned about the various types of properties in New York and the unique challenges and development associated with each. The valuable insights I gained from this trek as a sophomore truly sparked my interest in pursuing real estate as a career. I hope to one day recall on this trek as a pivotal moment in my career journey.” – Brian Lin ’26 (Dyson)

“This was my second opportunity to go on a career trek, and it was an incomparable experience. Visiting offices, speaking to industry professionals, and seeing firsthand the nature of their work has opened my eyes and been invaluable to my understanding of real estate development. I’ve been able to learn so much about these careers that I otherwise wouldn’t have been aware of. The trek has inspired me to take advantage of these opportunities in the future, and I am so grateful to CREF for making this trip possible.” – Chad Rubin ’25

“After participating in the DAIRE real estate trek in New York City, I was able to learn a lot about the development side when visiting firms such as Brookfield Properties and JLL. I observed the different company cultures and how it affects the workplace; the trek also exposed me to a multitude of career paths in the real estate industry along with the job responsibilities associated. By seeing how different companies operate, I gained a better understanding of how company culture can impact the work environment and productivity. The trek provided me with a comprehensive overview of the skills required to succeed in the various real estate roles. Overall, the trek was a valuable experience to gain a better understanding of the real estate industry and the skills required to succeed in those roles.” – Josh Nixon ’26 (A&S)

“This was the first DAIRE real estate trek that I’ve attended and it was nothing short of magical. Since I learned fairly recently that I want to pursue a career in real estate, it was very insightful visiting companies like JLL and Brookfield Properties and learning about how people started their careers in real estate. I had the opportunity to listen to and speak with so many different people, and found their career journey to JLL and Brookfield Properties incredibly inspiring. They delved into their pathway into real estate, the capital markets sector, development sector, and their career growth, which excited me even more about the organizations! It was also fun to attend the site visits at Brookfield Properties and learn more about the development process in real estate. I feel very grateful to have this opportunity and glad I made the most out of this wonderful experience. Thank you so much to CREF and our corporate sponsors for this trek because as a first-generation student, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without your support.” – Jarin Rahman ’25 (A&S)

Group shot of DAIRE students
Headshot of Joane Kim

Joane is a senior at Cornell University’s ILR School with minors in real estate and business. She is interested in affordable housing and mixed-use development. She is passionate about DEI, specifically expanding opportunities for women in real estate. On campus, she serves as an executive board member and is the President of DAIRE, Diversity and Inclusion in Real Estate, the first undergraduate organization at Cornell dedicated to advancing career pathways for underrepresented students in real estate. Her past experiences include being a Production Intern at Walker & Dunlop and as an Underwriting and Portfolio Management Intern at Capital One Real Estate in Dallas, TX. She is also a dually licensed real estate agent in both California and Texas and hopes to pursue a career in residential real estate in tandem with her pursuits in the commercial real estate industry.