Discovering similarities between management and real estate
“Coming out of my undergraduate program, I didn’t necessarily feel ready to join the workforce.”
Christine Blair’s sentiments are probably shared by millions of other undergraduates all over the world. It’s perfectly normal not to have it all figured out at this point in your life. After all, sometimes we need to take a step back before we take that next step forward. In Christine’s case, she chose to stay in education and give herself a taste of some industries that already interested her. It’s an approach that helped her discover a career she’s truly passionate about.
“I studied a Master’s in Management at the Schulich School of Business because I thought it would give me a good taste of consulting and managing my own company,” she tells MASTERGRADSCHOOLS. “Through that program, I really started to take a liking to real estate.” (01:14)
She continues, “I always wanted to be a small business consultant, but as a real estate broker, landlord, or manager you’re essentially doing the same thing. It’s the same side of the business and you’re still consulting people.” (03:15)
Christine soon started to see the parallels between management and real estate, but it was only through a strange turn of events that she really started to see the possibilities for her career.
“I actually befriended a bunch of people from the Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure program and became very close friends with them,” she reveals. “I took a liking to what they were studying and would join their study groups – even though I was in a different program! That’s how I noticed there were so many transferable skills from the Master of Management that could be applied to a career in real estate.” (02:58)
What real estate is all about
While Christine found similarities between the two programs she studied, she also found similarities between the real estate industry and Schulich. Both place a huge importance on their networks. It was only because of the Schulich network that Christine has been able to build her real estate career.
“Schulich unlocked a network of individuals working in different avenues of real estate. Some of the transferable skills that I learned came from their background. By sharing their stories, where they’ve made mistakes or where they’ve excelled, it definitely gave me a more confident approach to networking,” she explains. (04:30)
“For me, real estate is all about networking,” she adds. “That’s all it really is. And if it wasn’t for the network I’ve grown and the network I’ve been introduced to, I wouldn’t be here today.” (04:53)
Christine evidently made some important connections on the business side of things. They helped to open new doors in her career that would have remained firmly shut otherwise. But, just as important to her are the personal connections she made at Schulich.
The power of the Schulich community
A lot of schools claim to have a strong sense of community or a powerful alumni network. But how many can point to real-life examples of it? Christine believes the personal connections she forged at Schulich are proof of the power of its community.
“I think Schulich cultivates an amazing community,” she tells us. “We have such a strong alumni network and many of my best friends are from the program. It’s more than just an education – it’s a place where you build these special relationships with people.” (05:44)
That connection to Schulich remains strong even when you step outside its walls. Since graduating, Christine has begun to realize more and more the true value of its alumni network. Whenever she meets a fellow Schulich grad she’s able to form an instant bond with them – and she believes that’s a testament to the Schulich brand.
“You’re always going to bump into someone from Schulich wherever you are because it’s such a global brand,” she explains. “It’s not only the education and the relationships, it’s the Schulich brand. It carries a lot of weight in multiple different industries.” (06:22)
How a Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure launched Christine’s career in the industry
Christine spoke about the importance of a strong network within the real estate industry, but it is only because of the program that she has been able to unlock that network. It eventually led to an exciting new opportunity at a large Canadian real estate firm. She still sees the value of Schulich’s program even today.
“A master’s in real estate gives you that competitive edge,” she states. “Through the program’s infrastructure, I managed to secure a job at Pure Industrial – the biggest landlord in Canada of industrial buildings. We actually just hired another graduate of the Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure program at Schulich. It really unlocks a network that you would never have access to otherwise.” (02:14)
Christine decided to pursue a master’s degree because she asked herself a simple question: “Why not?” She identified her career goals and decided this master’s program was the best way of achieving them. Now, she has been rewarded for it with a bright career in an industry she’s passionate about. If you’re unsure whether to pursue a master’s, her advice is simple: find the school that’s right for you, and don’t delay your application.
“Just attend the Schulich calls. Attend an event. See what we’re all about and feel free to reach out to me,” she offers. “There’s no time like today. Don’t wait, because you never know where you’ll be in five or ten years.” (09:44)