A team of students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business placed first in the Mulroy Real Estate Challenge, held in Philadelphia in February.
The team, consisting of senior finance majors Jackson Snodgrass, Camryn Oneidas, Jonah Mikulski and Jack Beachboard, will share the first-place prize money. In only its second year participating in this case competition, Haslam bested teams from highly ranked schools such as the University of North Carolina, the University of Texas, Southern Methodist University, Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin.
Hosted by the Villanova School of Business, the contest gathered 16 undergraduate student teams representing real estate programs from public and private universities from all over the country. The students worked on a project case that incorporated all aspects of development, from financing to design, and presented their solutions to a judging panel made up of senior executives from top commercial real estate firms.
Scott Roark, clinical associate professor in the college’s Department of Finance and the team’s faculty sponsor, was pleased with the team’s performance and what it indicates about Haslam’s growing real estate program. “I’m excited about the caliber of students we have at UT and about our growing real estate education opportunities in Haslam,” said Roark, who has a background in commercial real estate. “I hope we will continue to attract excellent students who are interested in all aspects of real estate to UT.”
Growing Demand for Real Estate Education
Interest in real estate education has increased in recent years, from students and employers alike. In 2020, in response to that demand, Haslam hired Roark to help launch a real estate program within its finance department. The program consists of a series of three courses: Real Estate Principles (FINC 381), Real Estate Finance and Investment Analysis (FINC 481) and Real Estate Cases (FINC 482). In May 2023, the first group will complete the series and receive a real estate certificate.
To provide students with more exposure to real estate topics and experiential learning opportunities such as the Mulroy competition, Roark and a group of students established the UTK Real Estate Club. The group is open to students of any major who are interested in real estate. “The goal is to have students competing in two national real estate competitions, either through the club or across all classes,” Roark said.
Finance department head Tracie Woidtke said, “We are thrilled to be expanding the real estate education and experience for our students. They provide students with a valuable skill set that extends far beyond property transactions. Our real estate offerings cultivate critical thinking, financial analysis and a deeper understanding of the market, empowering students to make informed decisions and succeed in a variety of industries.”
Haslam’s Department of Finance will introduce a real estate collateral in fall 2023. The college’s Department of Accounting and Information Management and Department of Business Analytics and Statistics plan to begin offering similar collaterals by 2024.
Stacy Estep, writer/publicist, firstname.lastname@example.org