The Leader Magazine

SEP-OCT 2015

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graduation. Honored to be invited to join the faculty, he began thinking about how he could give back. He mentioned the idea of creating an apprenticeship program to Roger Gage, Executive Director at Cushman & Wakefield, who earned an MBA from the Haas School. Gage and Nelson took the idea to Joan Price, Principal at Gensler and then- Chapter President, who secured Board approval. The team launched the program in 2005. "As a professor, it is a very rich and rewarding experience for me to see students interested in corporate real estate and to watch them follow the career path that I chose," notes Nelson. "Having access to the crème de la crème in terms of employees is huge." Nelson adds that the CAP students he has sponsored have consistently contributed significantly to Wells Fargo. "We have used a great deal of the input and research performed by the students and several have gone on to become full-time employees," he says. Frank Robinson, retired Senior Vice President of Corporate Real Estate and Workplace at McKesson, agrees. He remembers receiving the call from Nelson requesting that he hire a CAP student. "For me, the decision was simple. How often do you gain access to a group of talented college students and get the chance have their contribution?" Robinson recalls one summer when he and Matt Werner, Head of Client Solutions for CBRE's Global Corporate Services, invited apprentices in for a session on creating powerful outsource partnerships. "We got 15 college students eager to learn about corporate real estate to show up without providing free beer!" Robinson quips. A Track Record of Success One of the attendees at Robinson and Werner's session was Brian Thomas, whom Robinson hired a few years later to work on the CBRE – McKesson team. Thomas, a CAP student in 2009, apprenticed with Sandy Heistand, current CoreNet Global Northern California President and Director of Global Real Estate at Advent Software. "My apprenticeship never officially ended," Thomas says. "I went back to school in August and then returned in March to work two days a week." After graduating in May 2010, Thomas became a full-time employee at Advent. In July 2011, he joined Robinson's CBRE – McKesson team as a transaction analyst and was promoted to transaction manager in early 2013. Thomas credits CAP for opening up the pathway for him into CRE. "The program pairs up theory with real life application extremely well. I quickly learned the terminology and about the life cycle of real estate." Another CAP student who got easily acclimated to the profession was Samantha Martz, Director at T3Advisors. Martz completed her internship at Gensler in 2008. "I got so much out of the program. Joan Price really took me under her wing, and I got to do things that people my age rarely get to do," recounts Martz, who attended client meetings, made new business pitches and even attended her first CoreNet Global Summit during her internship. She went on to work for The Concord Group as an analyst and returned to Gensler as a portfolio strategist in 2010. Martz also did stints at CBRE and Salesforce before accepting her current position. "My experience in the CAP program was incredible. It was the start of a great career," she says. Other success stories include Zack Bernstein, the very first CAP student to intern at Wells Fargo in 2005. Bernstein went on to work for Wells for five years before moving on to a private equity firm focused on real estate. Another apprentice, Taniel Baghdikian, interned at Wells a few years ago. Nelson notes that he will be returning to the company soon as a real estate negotiator for Wells Corporate Properties. Filling a Void The program also serves a previously unmet need of the University, according to Nancy E. Wallace, Professor and Chair of the Real Estate Group at the Haas School. "While there were already significant career resources for graduate students, there was nothing for the undergraduates. Students had to rely on central campus recruiting, which presented significant limitations," Wallace recalls. The University has a large international student population, and CAP has placed students from all over the globe, including England, Australia, Egypt and China. Although most students intern with local companies, a student was placed in London in 2014 and this year, one worked in Hong Kong. "The students come back from Interested in organizing your own chapter- based apprenticeship program? Leaders of Northern California's CAP offer the following tips: 1 . Forge an alliance with an academic institution. 2 . Leverage chapter leadership to provide internships. 3 . Reach out to potential host companies throughout the year. 4 . Enlist the communications committee to get the word out. 5 . Create a database to keep in touch with students and track progress. Frank Robinson September/October 2015 | the LEADER 37

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