Introducing the next generation to commercial real estate

Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Diego hosted the 2015 UCREW Ultimate Experience this month to rave reviews.

UCREW is an interactive session that introduces college students to opportunities in commercial real estate. The year’s event, held March 7, was attended by 25 university students from San Diego State University, University of San Diego, California State University San Marcos and a law school. Qualcomm hosted the event at the company’s brand-new Pacific Center Campus AY Office and Laboratory in Sorrento Valley.

The 357,000-square-foot facility was designed for LEED gold certification and incorporates sophisticated design, engineering and material choices to achieve a high level of sustainability and occupant comfort. The students toured the sustainable workplace environment while making stops to listen to industry leaders talk about their path to success and how their discipline fits in the overall development process.

“Having the event at Qualcomm’s Pacific Center Campus gave the students the opportunity to not just listen to professionals but to experience, see and touch the finished product,” said Katie Yee, director of business development at KCM Group and co-chair of UCREW.

Two of Qualcomm’s executives — Wendy Lanahan, director of real estate and Phil Lisotta, senior director of architecture — offered educational insight into the successes and challenges of their latest project, the Pacific Center Campus.

“This year we had two college students on our UCREW committee and their feedback helped design the format and the content of this year’s event,” said Jen Shumaker, UCREW co-chair and controller at Douglas Allred Company.

“The students wanted to hear more about how the various commercial real estate disciplines all come together throughout the development process, so we made that happen.”

The UCREW participants agreed that the event was both educational and enjoyable.

The students also had the opportunity to meet local CREW members for networking, with the ultimate goal of creating internships and job shadowing opportunities.

CREW has a legacy of supporting the next generation of commercial real estate leaders. The CREW Network Foundation offers a scholarship program that encourages women to pursue an education that will lead to a career in commercial real estate. To date, CREW Network and its Foundation have awarded 66 scholarships, totaling $520,000.

San Diego was not the only CREW chapter hosting UCREW. Similar events were held in Miami, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Baltimore and Seattle.

“We are already looking forward to next year’s UCREW event,” Yee said. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and at CREW we are committed to helping both young women and young men learn about commercial real estate as the fantastic career option it is.”

McMahon is a commercial real industry veteran who serves on the CREW San Diego board of directors as director of marketing communications.

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