The Location of Innovation
Carrick Young ’17 is riding a new wave of momentum for real estate education at SCU.
When Carrick Young ’17 was a kid, his parents spent 10 years looking for the next home they would buy and brought him to dozens of open houses in the process. “They were a realtor’s worst nightmare,” he says with a laugh.
But Young really enjoyed learning why similar homes command higher prices based on school districts, comparable sales, or other market factors. “I got to the point where, without even looking at the price, I could come pretty close to the market value of a home,” he said.
Fast forward a few years, and Young enrolled at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business (LSB) as a finance major, expecting to become an investment banker or money manager. But after one internship his sophomore year, he realized he wanted a profession where his accumulated knowledge and strategic ideas would be more immediately noticeable and valuable to clients.
So his thoughts turned back to all those open houses and to the field of real estate. He started tapping his connections in the industry and chatting up friends about their own interest. That led him to start the Real Estate Association (REA) student group on campus, which quickly attracted interest from 145 students from a variety of majors.
He said a big part of the appeal is the vast number of SCU alumni or benefactors who are powerhouses in the real estate field in Silicon Valley and beyond. They include trustees John M. Sobrato ’83, and John A. Sobrato ’60, of the Sobrato Organization; Jeff Cushman ’92, J.D. ’96, executive managing director of Cushman & Wakefield; Gary Filizetti, ’67, MBA ’69, president of Devcon Construction; Stephen E. Schott ’87, vice president of SCS Development Co.; and Jay Bechtel ’81, real estate project executive at Google.
“There are so many alumni from Santa Clara who are huge in real estate,” said Young. “I thought there really should be some sort of outlet for students to explore that.”
In fact, the REA group is part of a new wave of momentum for real estate education at the Leavey School.
A new minor is in the works and the school is considering creating an institute for real estate studies. LSB Dean Caryn Beck-Dudley easily found enthusiastic support for the minor and other initiatives from more than 20 real estate professionals who now form her Real Estate Program Advisory Board.
Meanwhile, Young and his REA group aren’t waiting. They put on a real estate job fair in February, with help from the Career Center and LSB, featuring 11 employers in construction, development, investment, and brokerage. Nearly 60 students attended.
Also, with help from many sponsors, REA is holding its first real estate symposium, The Location of Innovation, on May 4, focused on the impact of technology on the real estate field. About 60 students and 160 professionals are expected.
Young sees all the momentum as unlocking job opportunities for students like him.
Unlike the field of technology—where companies attend job fairs and do a lot of outreach to students—real estate hiring tends to be a more behind-the-scenes, who-do-you-know process, he said. Already, through his new connections, he was able to alert his REA friends to a job opening that an alumnus had for a real estate investment sales position. Fifteen of them applied.
As for Young, his go-getter networking landed him an internship and job at Cushman & Wakefield in Santana Row, where he will be working after graduation in an office of 70 brokers (a handful of them fellow Broncos). One of his first projects was to work with a client who was entering into a lease for 25,000 square feet of commercial real estate.
“The lease contract was 80 pages long and I was fascinated going through it—how many ways there were for clients to get taken advantage of if they don’t know what to look for.”
Luckily for them, they’ve got an up-and-coming Bronco in their corner.
May 1, 2017
Nvidia headquarters was built by SCU alum John A. Sobrato ’60. Photo courtesy the Sobrato Organization