Small Group, Big Benefits: Get to Know Booth Real Estate Group

Chicago Booth Real Estate Group kicked off spring quarter with a mixer on Thursday, April 13 at Lounge 420 in the Gleacher Center. (Photo by Ardi Baftiri)

Chicago Booth Real Estate Group kicked off spring quarter with a mixer on Thursday, April 13 at Lounge 420 in the Gleacher Center. (Photo by Ardi Baftiri)

Having recently been a part of a focus group aimed at assessing our “Booth experience” after completing a few quarters, I came to the realization that career exploration is just as important to part-timers as it is to those in the full time program. Despite entering the program with full-time jobs, part-time students too exhibit a curiosity about “what else is out there?”

Regardless if these students ever plan on switching careers, answering that curiosity is easily achievable at Booth. However, it’s important to realize the broad spectrum of possibilities you can explore. Too often we find ourselves relying on courses in addressing that curiosity with outside discussions heavily focused on only a few industries such as private equity, investment banking, and management consulting. However student groups, too, offer a great way of addressing that curiosity. As such, this article will shine a spotlight on one of the little known groups, hopefully inspiring you to further explore all the options available to you.

The Real Estate Group is the perfect example of a smaller student group that Boothies might not have heard of, but one that can surely benefit anyone looking to better understand all the options available to them. Understanding that not all its members are in the real estate industry, the group strives to showcase the breadth of opportunities via the diversity of its events. Events span panel discussions with real estate private equity funds and investment banks, networking events, all the way to the highly specialized ARGUS training sessions.

Ardi Baftiri

Ardi Baftiri

Ultimately, the broad array of events makes such a group perfect for anyone looking to further their understanding of all that Booth has to offer. The benefits of joining a smaller group however go beyond simply satisfying one’s curiosity; when asked what she thinks the biggest benefit of joining the Real Estate Group is, Julie Zeng— one of the Real Estate Group co-chairs said, “Unlike some of the larger groups, when companies in our industry (real estate) are looking to hire, they often aren’t going through GTS. These companies are going directly through the Real Estate Group. So our members get access to job positions that others may not have…and at times we get as many as 3 job postings per day.”

The Real Estate Group held its official spring kick-off event on Thursday April 13th , the event highlighted the fact that it offers benefits to members of all backgrounds. Attendees included Boothies in real estate private equity and banking as well as those simply looking to learn more about how their unique non-real estate experiences could be applied within a real estate context. Ultimately, the fact remains: the key to satisfying your curiosity about “what else is out there” may not lie solely in different classes and classroom interactions, but in the little-known student groups that bring multiple fields together in one.

Ardi Baftiri is currently a Booth evening student and works in real estate development. He is an avid traveler and has visited over 35 countries.