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Recruiting insights: Grubb Properties

Kay Allen - Grubb Properties - UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Kay Allen

Why do top real estate firms recruit UNC Kenan-Flagler MBAs?

Kay Allen, senior vice president of Grubb Properties in Charlotte, N.C., shares her insights and experiences.

What makes UNC Kenan-Flagler MBAs stand out? 
UNC has one of the largest MBA programs in North Carolina, so there are a lot of opportunities for students to explore a well-rounded curriculum and gain exposure to many different cultures and ideas.

The standards for admittance into the UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA program are very high, so we know right off the bat that the students will be top-notch.

The resources that are available to students allow them to explore so many things and either dive deeply into one specific area or to take a broader approach and open themselves up to many different areas.

We interview at many schools and have always found the UNC Kenan-Flagler students to be among the most well-rounded and well-prepared.

MBA Real Estate students touring Grubb Properties' SkyHouse Uptown project in Charlotte

MBA Real Estate students touring Grubb Properties’ SkyHouse Uptown project in Charlotte

As a recruiter, what differentiates the UNC Kenan-Flagler Real Estate program?
UNC Kenan-Flagler’s emphasis on real estate finance coursework is a big differentiator we have seen, and it is very important to our company. We typically hire at the analyst or associate level, and finance coursework and experience is crucial.

But UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA students aren’t just smart, they aren’t just numbers people — they are well-rounded leaders who know how to communicate and collaborate effectively.

The way the program is structured requires students to learn to work in groups and to develop strong communication skills. They learn how to interview and how to take feedback. They’ve had to learn about themselves and what their needs and wants are – and how to communicate them – and they’re dependable and timely.

It would be rare to have a long and lasting career in real estate without knowing how to communicate with others and work with teams of people. Obviously, it is very important to have a high-quality education with strong coursework and experience, but without those excellent written and oral communication skills, a person won’t go far in real estate.

We find UNC Kenan-Flagler students are ready to hit the ground running and contribute at a high level from day one. That’s why we love recruiting at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

What is the on-campus experience like for recruiters visiting UNC Kenan-Flagler?
The campus experience is always fantastic at UNC. It’s one of my favorite days as a recruiter!

The entire recruiting process is very well-organized. The MBA Career Management Center (CMC) uses an online system and a calendar for recruiting events and interviews, which provides structure and transparency. Both the students and the employer clearly understand how the process works and the timing of all recruiting events. The online resume review and interview invitation process is very easy for employers to use, and there is always someone in the CMC available to help if anything is needed.

Some other schools don’t have a structured online process, and it can be cumbersome for the employer to find alternate methods to manage the process and facilitate on-campus recruiting. Additionally, some schools don’t have a structured recruiting calendar, so it takes more effort and more communication to work through the talent acquisition process with them.

The interview day at UNC Kenan-Flagler is always very well laid-out. We’re always given everything we need prior to the interview day – parking passes, maps, directions and instructions. And it’s nice to have drinks, lunches and snacks readily available. Every detail is thought of!