“After looking around and checking into other MSRE programs in the Midwest, I realized that the UST program stood out as the premier option. It was my #1 choice, and quite frankly, the only school I applied too.”
Andrew Webb is one of those rare southerners who moved to the subarctic climate commonly known as Minneapolis, spent a winter here, and actually stayed… However, the St. Thomas community is thrilled that he did, and that he currently shares his expertise and experience with his peers in the MSRE program. Having a student like Andrew, who has already made partner at his firm, Goldridge Capital Partners, gives a wonderful endorsement to the importance and quality of an MSRE degree from UST. Speaking with Andrew was a great opportunity and I found it very encouraging that a professional of his caliber saw the same value that I did when I enrolled at the Opus College of Business.
What is your professional and education experience?
I grew up in North Carolina and attended UNC where I earned two undergraduate majors-Urban Land Economics and Land Use Planning. I always had a pretty clear idea about what I wanted to do career wise, which has helped me greatly in gaining experience after college. My first job out of school was as a corporate real estate broker at Transwestern Commercial Services. After gaining a solid foundation at Transwestern I decided to diversify my skill set and took advantage of an opportunity to move away form North Carolina, and join Hines Interests, one of the largest privately held real estate development companies in the nation. Although I had originally planned to reenroll at UNC and enter the MSRE program there, I decided that the work experience was too valuable, and put my plans to enter a masters program on hold. After Hines, I took a job at KeyBank Real Estate Capital Markets as a Vice President – Senior Investment Manager. I later took advantage of a tremendous opportunity and joined Goldridge Capital, as Executive Director Investment Management and partner.
How did you end up at UST in the MSRE program?
I believe it is necessary for someone in my position to have a masters degree. I knew that I wanted a more specific concentration than a general MBA, as my passion and career track is set in real estate. After researching other MSRE programs in the Midwest, I realized the UST program stood out as the premier option. It was my #1 choice, and quite frankly, the only school I applied too.
Talk about you experience in the program so far, what are the benefits, and what have you learned?
UST’s MSRE program offers a concentrated set of skills in real estate finance, development, management, and investing, which are all vital to having a well rounded understanding of the industry. The program has greatly increased my academic understanding of these areas, and I now have a theoretical understanding of real estate on a multidimensional level. My favorite part of the program is the intimate interaction that I have with my professors. These relationships are invaluable to me, for both learnings sake and as mentors and connections for future professional growth. The program offers a fantasic opportunity to not only learn multiple aspects of the industry but it exposes you to active industry participants, and helps you build a network in the classroom with future industry leaders. Furthermore an MSRE helps add a significant amount of credibility when you enter the marketplace, as well as building a solid foundation for the rest of your career.
What is the workload like?
The program is accommodating to a full time professional. It balances an appropriate amount of in class learning with ou-of class assignments. I feel that I am given enough time to comprehend the material and synthesize it into the larger frame of the industry as a whole.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Always pursue the furthering of your knowledge base and continue to educate yourself in the industry you are in – I was told this by my first boss, during a summer internship, and it has stuck with me ever since. Learning is a lifelong process and only begins with graduation.
I would like to thank Andrew for taking the time to speak with Real Estate Matters, and share some of his insights and experiences during his career, and time at University of St. Thomas. For more information on the MSRE program, visit the schools website.