The Runstad Department of Real Estate actively engages with public, private, and non-profit organizations involved in real estate throughout the region. These connections not only help to define us as a department but also enhance the learning experiences of our students. The Advisory Board and our growing alumni network provide points of connection at all levels of the industry, in addition to the department’s support with industry mentoring and internship programs. The Advisory Board also serves as an important bridge between the industry and the department, providing important feedback and input into our curriculum.
A degree from the Runstad Department of Real Estate prepares students for a variety of roles in the diverse real estate industry including financial analyst, investment asset manager, development project manager, market analyst, research analyst, land acquisition manager, transactions specialist, affordable housing developer, loan underwriter, portfolio manager, or corporate real estate manager. Our alumni perform these roles for public, private, and non-profit organizations.
Students join industry organizations, attend industry functions, including “young leader” programs, and take advantage of the mentoring programs offered by these organizations. Many local companies regularly contact the Department with job announcements and internship opportunities and our alumni network is an increasingly powerful resource for students. Student-led real estate clubs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels regularly bring in industry speakers and go out into the community for project tours.
Our students are supported by a strong network of industry professionals at all levels. Graduate students are assigned industry mentors who work with students in small groups to expose them to projects and companies and help them establish and nurture professional connections. Each MSRE student is required to obtain an internship unless they are already working in the industry.
Department staff, mentors, and advisory board members all work to support students as they network to obtain internship opportunities and job placements. Our students have interned with regional, national and international firms such as Microsoft, T-Mobile, CBRE, the Gates Foundation, Urban Renaissance Group, Trammel Crow Residential, Seattle Housing Authority, and many more.
The Runstad Advisory Board provides critical support to the Department and its students. Program curriculum is developed in close consultation with these industry leaders to make sure students are exposed to current best practices and real-world problem-solving. The Board regularly hosts functions to facilitate connection between students and the industry including receptions to welcome incoming students and graduating students as well as the annual Leadership Dinner that attracts 750 attendees. Board members frequently meet individually with students to provide career and internship guidance.
The Board is actively involved in raising funds for scholarships and fellowships and also supports orientation programs, student attendance at industry conferences, and special programs such as the Affiliate Fellows Program. Board members have taught courses, contributed individual class sessions as guest lecturers, and assist the department in recruiting affiliate instructors as needed. The Board also takes an active interest in the research of department faculty and the applied research activities of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research.