The Leader Magazine

SEP-OCT 2015

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their experiences with a much more concrete vision of the issues that companies face with regard to real estate. This clarity helps them enter their senior year more prepared. They learn what skills are needed in the workplace so they can choose electives that are geared to the career they want to pursue," Wallace says. She adds that the program is also unique in that it attracts diverse students. Wallace describes the course Nelson teaches as a "gateway" class with large attendance. Generally, there are approximately 120 students who come from diverse educational backgrounds, such as business, architecture, urban planning, engineering and economics. Consequently, the CAP students have a broad range of interests. "Forming a close alliance with CoreNet Global through Nelson has been important for the success of the program," says Wallace. "Our students come in knowing nothing about corporate real estate; however, when a professor stands up in class and says 'this is a great program,' they believe it." Challenges and Opportunities But for all of CAP's success, Wallace admits that administering the program requires a significant amount of work. In the beginning, Joon Lee, Vice President of Corporate Properties at Wells Fargo and a member of Nelson's staff, served as program coordinator. CoreNet Global volunteer Lynda Ward took over the administration from 2008 to 2012. Today, CAP is student-run, with Brian Thomas performing administrative duties and funneling more responsibility to the students. At the beginning of the year, Nelson has the program coordinator come to class and present the program to students. "Syncing the academic schedules with those of corporate sponsors has also proved challenging," Thomas says. Students apply in early October and are inducted in early November. Internships starts in late May and conclude in late August. "Getting the right internships lined up during that specific time frame has been tough. We continually promote the program and ask companies to put interns in their staffing plans each year." Another obstacle the CAP committee is working to overcome is keeping in touch with participants after they complete their internships and graduate. This past May, the committee hosted a reunion for participants with that goal in mind. "We are in the process of creating a more robust database for keeping in touch with apprentices and tracking their progress. We also just got Board approval to offer each apprentice a complimentary, one-year membership in CoreNet Global," Thomas states. Despite the challenges, all evidence suggests CAP is thriving. Nine students participated this past summer at a number of host companies, including Advent Software, CBRE, CRESA, Hamilton Zanze, JLL, McKesson, Visa and Wells Fargo. Heistand says the value CAP has added to the Northern California Chapter is multifaceted. "We have grown into a unique and thriving multi-generational community with strong engagement at all levels and the CAP program is a large part of the reason. Our most senior executives, some of whom are retired, give generously to our younger professionals by hiring our CAP interns. Members of our Young Leaders' Group play an important role by helping integrate the CAP students into our community. Each constituency extends itself to help the other and the results are inspiring." Based in San Francisco, Calif., Erin Carew is founder and principal of Instigate Marketing & Public Relations. She is a long-time member and supporter of the CoreNet Global Northern California Chapter. "Having access to the crème de la crème in terms of employees is huge. 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." David Nelson speaking with a group of CAP students at the CoreNet Global Northern California Chapter's January 2014 meeting. Photo caption: Tom McCune 38 the LEADER | September/October 2015

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