M.A. in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development, 2012
Global Real Estate Project Coordinator/Analyst
I've always been interested in how people interact with the built environment and how cities affect economics and sociology. In the summer of 2009, I visited St. Louis and fell in love with the city's history, architecture, and potential to become great again. Everywhere I looked, I saw opportunities for St. Louis to thrive.
While visiting, I met with a friend enrolled in the urban planning program at Saint Louis University. He told me about the program, and I was sold. I jumped at the chance to study in such a fascinating city with an amazing urban history. While enrolled in the program, I focused on the benefits of adaptive reuse and historic tax credits to redevelop neighborhoods and buildings.
The courses in real estate finance were invaluable, and every day I transfer what I learned from those classes to my work as a Global Real Estate Project Coordinator/Analyst for Sonos, Inc. In this position, I manage the budgets and pro formas for all real estate projects globally, perform long-range forecasting to determine future space needs, and help to acquire sites to fill those needs. I am also currently involved in the build out of two sites in London, serving as main project manager on one of them.
I use knowledge of socioeconomics and demographics from my planning courses to help determine in which cities to expand. Learning the policy of planning and how to maneuver through the process has helped me when obtaining permits from city hall and presenting at public meetings.
You get out of the program what you put in, so don't be afraid to dive in and immerse yourself in all that you can: internships, fellowships, research opportunities, extracurricular challenges/chances, etc. The connections you make and the knowledge you gain from these experiences are priceless. Always say yes when something comes your way. You never know where it will lead or who you meet.
My time in the urban planning program at SLU was very positive, and my education provided me with the skills I needed to get where I am today.