NEEDHAM, MA – NAIOP Massachusetts, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, along with KAGE Growth Strategies, held a closing ceremony for the first class of the Commercial Real Estate Success Training (CREST) Program.
This initiative aims to attract a diverse range of minority and female students to join member companies of the local affiliates of NAIOP, ULI and CBA as summer interns and experience employment opportunities in the commercial real estate industry.
“We are well aware that our industry is lacking in diversity and while there is a real interest to work on the issue, not a lot of ideas have been put forth,” said David Begelfer, CEO of NAIOP Massachusetts. “This partnership introduces a career path to ethnic minorities and women while still in college, so they will be encouraged to enter commercial real estate.”
Sixteen interns participated from Bentley University, Brandeis University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Boston, and Wellesley College, with placements at 16 different companies, including AEW Capital Management, Boston Investments, Boston Properties, CBRE | New England, Cummings Properties, The Davis Companies, HYM Investment Management, JLL, MCCA, Millennium Partners, National Development, Paradigm Properties, Samuels & Associates, Skanska, Suffolk Construction and Trinity Financial.
The 10-week, paid full-time internship program includes opportunities for students to participate in additional workshops, professional development courses and real estate boot camp. To be eligible for CREST, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, demonstrate high achievement, be highly motivated and be currently enrolled as juniors through graduate students.
“The greatest challenge to introducing people of color and women to real estate careers is the lack of familiarity with majority firms. The CREST program seeks to expose people from diverse backgrounds to real estate, but also people who are not diverse to people of color who have the skills to participate in our industry, said Kirk Sykes of Urban Strategy America Fund. “The program has done an exceptional job of building this connectivity which will lead to future opportunities for all.”
The 2017 CREST Internship Program kicked off with a two-day Boot Camp, including topics such as Introduction to CRE Finance, Introduction to Real Estate Development, Anatomy of a Building, Construction Overview, The Role of the Broker, Legal Elements of Real Estate and Commercial Real Estate in Boston and Beyond. The interns also were welcomed at networking events with NAIOP and ULI professional groups.
“Diversity of ideas and experiences drives innovation. Boston Properties is thrilled to be working with NAIOP and the CREST internship program to introduce students to the opportunities available in commercial real estate” said Bryan Koop, Executive Vice President, Boston Region for Boston Properties. “We learn as much from our interns as they do from us.”