UST Student Profile – Thomas Strohm, Architect and Construction Administrator – Real Estate Matters
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UST Student Profile – Thomas Strohm, Architect and Construction Administrator

The UST Opus College of Business Master’s in Real Estate program welcomes the new class to the 2012-2013 academic year!  Take a look at a brief snapshot of the students in this year’s class.

Name: Thomas Strohm

What is your educational background and experience?

I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Architecture and a minor in Construction Management.  During my undergraduate studies I obtained an internship at BWBR Architects.  After graduation, I joined BWBR full-time and continued to work there for nearly seven years.  I have worked on projects in the health care, corrections, athletic, and corporate office sectors.  It was great to collaborate on interdisciplinary teams and partner with contractors, developers, and project owners to develop project scope and reach team goals.   In addition to traditional design work, I received an opportunity to work on a job site for six months acting as a Construction Administrator. This experience allowed me to better bridge the gap between design and construction – ultimately allowing me to deliver a better final product and better serve our clients. 

Why did you choose the MSRE program at UST?

I was searching for a program that would allow me the flexibility to work and go to school. The MSRE program allows me the flexibility to do both and at a pace that fits my goals. I was also drawn to the program because of its connection to industry leaders. I wanted to learn from and network with respected experts. 

What are your future career goals?

In the near future I would like to secure a position in development, where I can further expand my understanding of the development process.  In addition, I hope this position would allow me to apply my studies from the UST program to real world situations.  Upon graduation I plan to continue to gain experience in the development of large commercial projects, grow into my role and help to achieve successful projects. Long term I would like to start my own development company where I can utilize my diverse experiences in design, construction and real estate.

As you enter the MSRE program, what aspect of the program are you most excited about?

I am most excited to examine the principles of development, from land economics to real estate law, to engaging in discussions with local real estate professionals and professors.  I am also excited to collaborate with my peers on various projects and I look forward to participating in the Hines Competition. 

What do you enjoy most about the real estate industry?

There are many things that I enjoy about real estate, a few things are the abilities to transform communities and the opportunities for success are unlimited.  With a great idea, proper planning and community involvement, real estate can transform communities and neighborhoods.  In addition, with a proper plan in place, an investment in real estate can produce higher returns than most other investments.

What is your favorite non-real estate pastime and why?

I enjoy spending time outdoors playing sports, hiking, fishing or being on the lake.  I am a competitive person and love the competitive nature and team camaraderie that sports offers.  I also love to golf, however, I often ask myself why because it can a frustrating sport. I do not hunt and fish nearly as much as I would love to, but feel that it’s great to clear your mind while sitting on the boat or in the woods.

What is your favorite local development and why?

The Midtown Exchange is one of my favorite local developments. This large scale project took a Twin Cities Landmark, the Sears Roebuck Building, and converted a plighted and underdeveloped property into a thriving mixed-use community.  During my undergraduate studies I toured the project while it was under construction and I was fascinated by the challenges the developer faced and the solutions that were achieved.  I love that the developer was able to utilize an existing building, with such large square footage and develop a program that included residential, commercial office and retail space.

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