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My Real Estate Finance Minor

How it’s Helped Me in My Career and Personal Life

Monday, April 10, 2023

Coming into Purdue, I never thought that I would end up taking a real estate finance minor. Because I plan on owning rental properties in the future, I decided to pursue this program when it was first offered.

During the event in Chicago, some of the members of the Purdue Real Estate Society took a tour of an apartment complex being built by Marquette Properties. It was a great experience!

The faculty managing the coursework want to challenge the students to have a well-rounded knowledge of the real estate market, both the residential and commercial sides. I took the first course, Real Estate Fundamentals, during the first semester it was offered for the minor. It was challenging, but well worth my time and effort. We learned about real-estate and loans during this class. We also touched on investment, which led into the next classes, Real Estate Investment and Development and Real Estate Law. I learned there’s a lot more to real estate, even the fundamentals, than I realized.

I’ve seen firsthand how passionate people can be about real estate, my professor, Mike Eriksen, being one of them. Professor Eriksen has a very engaging and very enthusiastic teaching style, which made this difficult class easier to manage. He kept us on our toes and encouraged us to learn more. His enthusiasm toward the industry fueled my own interests and has proven to me that I'm taking the right path.

We had a lot of guest speakers in the first class I took. Listening to them talk makes me realize how dedicated they are to this field. Team members from the real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL) came to speak with us in the Real Estate Fundamentals course. I loved the energy they brought, and they were very eager to answer any questions, encouraging us to apply for their internships in the process. In the Real Estate and Development class, Professor Eriksen brings in industry professionals from all sectors of real estate to speak to us and answer our questions.

We also had the opportunity to take a walking tour of Chicago’s landmarks and architecture.

Through these courses, I’ve been learning what will help me in my future, not only in my career, but also in my everyday life. It’s important to know about the financial aspects of life, especially when it comes to buying or renting a house. Since most people will buy a house or rent a place at some point in the future, I’m grateful for these classes for teaching me life skills. I learned how to calculate loan payments, which is relevant to almost everyone. We need to know information like this, and I think this minor could provide everyone with education on topics like loans and rentals.

In addition to helping me in my personal life, this path has also helped me gain leadership and real-world skills. As one of the founding members of the new Purdue Real Estate Society, I’ve had opportunities to develop professionally. Twenty students, including me, went to Chicago and met with experts from companies like Heitman, Avison Young, Marquette, Riverside Investment and Development, and Magellan. All of them, but especially the Purdue alumni, communicated their excitement to learn that the Daniels School now has the Real Estate Finance minor, saying they would have loved to have that option during college.

Though my marketing major is the path that will fuel my career in marketing in the automotive industry, I intend to make the most of this minor. While I don’t plan on going into the real estate field, I think the skills I learn will be very valuable assets both currently and for the future.

I would definitely recommend this minor. It’s important to keep an open mind to your future options while taking the coursework. I think it’s worth the time spent to take the extra classes to understand the real estate market and how it affects you, even if you want to simply learn more about buying your own house. Then again, there are a lot of career opportunities within real estate, which gives you more options with job hunting.

Benton Greenwood

Benton Greenwood, from Centreville, Maryland, is a junior majoring in marketing and minoring in real estate finance. He is the vice president of communications and one of the founding members of the Purdue Real Estate Society (PRES). On campus, he works at Chick-fil-A. In addition to that, he holds two marketing jobs: one at POUNCE, a marketing agency and the other at Pecometh, a camp and retreat ministry near his home in Maryland.

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