For the first time, in 2019 the Schack Institute collaborated with the New York South Asian Real Estate Network (NYSAREN) group to host a panel discussion and dinner. The event was designed to support and bring together South Asian real estate professionals and graduate students at the Schack Institute. The event featured a panel of industry professionals. It also provided robust networking opportunities says Jainam Shah, a Schack real estate finance and investment graduate, and the 2018-2019 Executive Vice President for the student Real Estate Institute Student Association (REISA), who helped market and promote the event.
NYSAREN seeks to provide connections for real estate professionals in greater New York City. This conversation covered an array of topics concerning diversity, as well as real estate subject matter. "Because there were people from different organizations—from Goldman Sachs, individual real estate development funds, and Cushman & Wakefield—each [company] was very different in terms of diversity and culture," Shah explains. Panelists discussed the different professional paths available, and how students can craft their careers. "Part of it was advising, but it was also from the standpoint of [for instance] debt and equity."
Additionally, the informal setting provided an avenue for Schack students to forge connections with NYSAREN members that might extend well into the future. "Settings like this [are] an easy way for people to start a conversation," Shah says, reflecting on the value of providing a space for diverse groups, who might not always see themselves represented in workplaces. During the course of the evening, he connected with professionals he is still in touch with. "When you’re surrounded by people who are similar to you in culture or in nature, people tend to open up. You have a foundational talk-point, and then the conversation goes forward."