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Academy to provide learning community for real estate concentrators

MBA club listens to panel discussion

This semester the UNC Real Estate Program has streamlined resources for MBA real estate concentrators in the newly launched MBA Real Estate Academy. The Academy acts as an all-inclusive learning community to offer concentrators a comprehensive co-curricular experience during their time at UNC Kenan-Flagler. The Academy compiles the academic, career and club resources, along with the opportunities offered by the Wood Center, to tailor each concentrator’s experience towards a fulfilling future in commercial real estate.

Wood Center Associate Director Julie Paul, who joined the Center in December 2021, has overseen the launch of the Academy and is excited to grow the real estate student experience.

“I am excited to help pilot this program,” Paul said. “My goal is to take student-focused academics and add an extra layer of industry interaction, professional development and support, so that students will be fully prepared for a successful career.”

The Academy was originally conceptualized to support our students in their rigorous journeys from applicants to alumni. The Wood Center, MBA Career and Leadership, Admissions, the MBA Club, and industry professionals take a collaborative approach in creating and executing the student programming to create a roadmap to success. Our students will have access to specific orientation sessions, industry bootcamps, alumni engagement and networking opportunities, career coaching, specialized academic advising, on-campus company presentations, internship opportunities, and our new Executive-in-Residence mentorship meetings.

Overseeing academics, Dr. Jacob Sagi, the faculty director for the MBA concentration, regularly collaborates with the Wood Center staff to ensure together that students are receiving a well-rounded experience.

“There is a reason why our alumni look at us and each other as a large extended family,” Sagi said. “I believe I can safely say that the support and resources available through the Wood Center and Real Estate Club are second to none in the school, and even beyond. I have been on faculty at three major universities and have yet to come across anything like the level of enthusiasm, professionalism and excellence offered to our real estate concentrators at UNC Kenan-Flagler.”


To be a Real Estate Concentrator in the full-time MBA Program, students must successfully complete the nine real estate courses in addition to the MBA core curriculum. Students are encouraged to join the MBA Real Estate Club and Real Estate Student Academy but need not be a member of either to have the designated concentration. Students may then record this designation on their resume.


The Wood Center for Real Estate Studies supports the real estate MBA concentration and the undergraduate real estate students by engaging alumni and the broader UNC Kenan-Flagler program, targeting potential employers and providing thought leadership in real estate trends and disciplines. The Center also hosts the annual UNC Real Estate Conference and the UNC Real Estate Development Challenge. Academy members will have access to all Wood Center programs, as well as be invited to connect with our new Executives-in-Residence.


Career and Leadership is the hub for career coaching, resume development, career exploration and preparation for the internship and job search. As members of the Student Academy, our MBA students work with Career and Leadership’s Associate Director Jerry Wang, who ensures that they are prepared for every phase of their job search.


The MBA Real Estate Club is open to all full-time MBA students, who are MBA Student Association (MBASA) members. By participating in the club’s events and activities, concentrators will be prepared to tackle UNC’s challenging real estate curriculum, excel in their summer internship, and ultimately transition into a full-time career in the industry. The club runs the first year Real Estate Foundations programming, Career Treks, mentorship programs and social events, which help students form life-long bonds with classmates.

To become a member of the MBA Real Estate Student Academy, concentrators can reach out to Julie Paul for additional information. In addition, any concentrators who also join the MBA Real Estate Club will also be invited to join the Academy. Upon acceptance, those students will then be placed to an email list to keep them informed about upcoming events, experiential trainings, mentorship programs, networking opportunities and additional invitation-only programming.

The Center for the Business of Health is also launching an MBA Student Academy this fall.