By Bob Young, Executive Managing Director, Weitzman
I’m fortunate to be a faculty member at International Council of Shopping Centers popular ICSC University of Shopping Centers, because I not only teach students, I learn from them. The multi-day continuing education event, held annually at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, offers a curriculum that provides retail real estate insight to a group of students who range from new to the business to extensively experienced.
My class earlier this year, on developing pro forma leasing plans, was living proof of the value of a positive teaching/learning dynamic. My 25 students represented a cross section of professionals from the U.S., Canada and Latin America. No matter their backgrounds or where they were from, they shared one thing in common: a desire to improve their craft. The level of experience ranged from a partner with New York-based DRA to a soon-to-be graduate moving from an intern position to full time with Boston Properties. This class composition produced an exciting forum for both introducing new concepts to some and hearing of lessons learned from experienced pros just wanting to refresh their knowledge and skills.
Almost as important, the trip to Philadelphia provided quality learning time away from the hustle and bustle of D-FW, allowing me and the others to gain perspective on their careers. And I took advantage of the presence of three D-FW commercial real estate practitioners to get to know them better and to explore beneficial new business opportunities in our home market.
On the flight back to Dallas, refreshed and ready to tackle new business at home, I understood first-hand how an interactive sharing of commercial real estate knowledge, and all that embodies, is the cornerstone for knowledge, networking, business development and long-term success!