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CREW San Diego announces UCREW for college students

Group mentors women interested in commercial real estate careers

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Katie Yee

In the coming months, San Diego real estate professionals will be headed back to school, but not to advance their own careers. Instead, CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) in San Diego is launching University CREW on local college campuses to introduce students to career opportunities in commercial real estate.

“The mission of CREW is to influence the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievement of women,” said Katie Yee, regional marketing manager of Fuscoe Engineering Inc., who is also leading the development of University CREW in San Diego.

“What better way to influence the advancement of women in our industry than providing local university students with exposure to the opportunities available at a time when they can still make adjustments to their educational paths.”

University CREW, or UCREW, was originally created by the national CREW Network University Task Force in 2006, and many local CREW chapters across the United States have established or are in the process of establishing, programs. Participating chapters work directly with area colleges and universities to invite students to participate in locally hosted UCREW events where they can meet and talk with CREW members from various industry segments. Many of the programs feature a question-and-answer format that allows the students to ask questions and gain valuable information specific to their interests. There is also time for networking.

Panelists at UCREW programs are encouraged to talk about a variety of issues, including what a typical day of work is like; what they like and dislike about their jobs; their educational background and what skill sets are most important on the job; and a critical turning point, or “aha moment,” that changed or helped define their career path.

As CREW encourages joint ventures and business deals among its membership, UCREW’s curriculum will also include information about the art of deal making. Job shadowing opportunities may also be available to the students.

“The CREW membership is passionate about what they do. UCREW informs college students about the world of commercial real estate and assists them in discovering a path in the industry, if they so desire,” said CREW San Diego President Kellie Hill. “This program is a gateway that connects women with the resources, support and business networks they need to get their foot in the door to obtain a high-level internship and/or entry-level position.”

In San Diego, three of the local universities offer programs in real estate -- San Diego State University, University of California, San Diego and University of San Diego. CREW has already received an overwhelming amount of support and interest from the local universities.

“The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate looks forward to partnering with CREW,” said Dr. Michael Lea, director of The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate at SDSU. “This will be a great opportunity for our students, and we hope to help generate more interest in real estate among our female students.”

UCREW also is an opportunity for CREW members to get to know one another better, and develop working, and perhaps even mentoring, relationships.

“Currently, CREW San Diego is forming a committee of active real estate professionals to further develop the program and finalize the details,” Yee said. The first program is slated to be held early next year at SDSU.

For those interested in participating in UCREW and learning more about CREW San Diego, there is more information available at crewsandiego.org/about/join-a-committee/.

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