Goldie Scholar Felicia Bell (pictured above) is a graduate of Harvard University.
“The reason I chose the Roosevelt program is I knew I would gain access to practitioners in the industry,” said Bell, a 2000 graduate of Harvard’s Afro-American Studies program. She previously did marketing and acquisitions for Warner Bros. in California.
Like many classmates, Bell hopes to build a real estate portfolio of residential and commercial properties. Also like some of her fellow scholars, she has come from outside the area to attend Roosevelt’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate.
“We are seeing more and more of our Goldie scholars coming from big name schools around the country,” said Jon DeVries, the Institute‘s director who has made many calls to his contacts in the field on behalf of scholars.
Thanks to the program, Bell has been able to personally meet and network with more than 30 top developers, mortgage brokers, lenders, property managers and real estate attorneys.
“I’ve been extraordinarily impressed with my classmates and professors,” said Bell, who will graduate this spring. “The caliber of education I’ve been getting and the contacts I’ve made are incredible,” she said.
Goldie Scholar SaBrina French (pictured below right) is a 15-year employee at AT&T.
She’s also a wife, mother, business owner and a bit of an introvert.
“You may think I’m extroverted because I’m constantly talking to people and doing deals,” said French, who manages real estate assets for AT&T and who also runs her own Chicago real estate business, Ariel Realty Group.
“But actually, I’m very quiet. It’s been a challenge for me going to all of these events and networking,” said French, who will graduate this summer. She believes the MBA with a concentration in real estate will lead to opportunities for promotion at AT&T.
“I know in order to do anything in life, and particularly to become a director, requires networking,” she said. “This program has definitely taken me out of my shell and has taught me how to make the most of networking.”
Goldie Scholar Virginia Billings grew up in the Chicago Housing Authority’s Ida B. Wells Homes. Today, she is an asset manager for CHA where she oversees many property-management functions.
Involved in many ways with implementation of CHA’s Plan for Transformation, Billings believes she’s been successful in her job in part because of her personal understanding of the CHA experience.
“My family got a helping hand at Ida B. Wells and then moved on,” said Billings. “That’s what low-income public housing is supposed to be about.”
Entering Roosevelt’s program last fall, Billings currently has a real estate broker’s license and is pursuing a master’s degree in real estate so she can move up in public housing’s property-management arena.
Aiming to be a prestigious Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Billings’ ultimate goal is to become a regional director of HUD.
“I’ve really learned a lot from the program’s mentors, particularly those who work in the private sector,” said Billings. She plans to graduate in 2013.
Goldie Scholar Sarah Rothman (pictured below) considered going to an Ivy League school for her MBA in real estate. She chose Roosevelt’s program when she learned of its potential to pave the way for her success.
“I could have gotten a degree anywhere,” said Rothman, a former honors student government association president who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from DePaul University in 2009. “It wouldn’t have helped me as much as this program is doing,” added Rothman, who believes mentorship and networking are important tools that the program offers.
Entering as a Goldie Scholar last fall, Rothman has recently obtained her real estate broker’s license and currently works in her family’s suburban real estate business, Rothman Real Estate.
“My mentor has offered me a ton of information,” said Rothman of her mentor, Susan Rosen, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield of Illinois, Inc., which is a commercial real estate broker and consultant. “Whenever I need advice on the deals I’m doing, we have lunch and talk things through,” she added.
430 S. Michigan Ave.Chicago, IL 60605(312) 341-3500
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1400 N. Roosevelt Blvd.Schaumburg, IL 60173(847) 619-7300
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