As the daughter of an engineer from Long Island, Arianna Wendt, a student in the MS in Real Estate at the NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate, understood at an early age that the design and construction of buildings and public spaces powerfully impact the way people live. “I’ve always been passionate about affordable housing,” said Wendt. “Everyone deserves to call a ‘place’ a home, and I believe developers can play a positive role in shaping thriving cities and communities.”
This early conviction led her to pursue a BA in Architectural Studies at Connecticut College. For one semester she participated in an international honors program, studying urban development in cities in Argentina, Senegal, Vietnam, and New York. She also spent a summer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, learning about landscape architecture.
Following her undergraduate schooling, Wendt was eager to dive into the professional world. She worked in marketing and business development with Dattner Architects for a couple of years before joining Gilbane Development Company, an industry leader in construction and real estate development.
Although she had a background in architecture and construction, Wendt felt she needed a finance and investment perspective to round out her skillset in a graduate program. She chose the Schack Institute of Real Estate for its prestigious industry standing, flexible programming that allowed her to continue to work full-time, and the networking opportunities it provided in New York City. “Many industry leaders told me that the peers you meet in graduate school are the people you will do deals with later in your career, so it is good to establish your network early,” she stated.
Wendt, who will graduate in Spring 2023, has taken advantage of all the opportunities Schack has to offer. She serves as the vice president of the Real Estate Institute Student Association (REISA) at Schack and is the Women in Real Estate committee liaison. “In such a male-dominated industry, it is important to create a welcoming, inclusive environment for all women,” she noted.
In addition, she serves as one of three editors-in-chief of Blueprint, the student-run publication that covers emerging trends in sustainability, capital markets, and innovative building. “It’s an incredible platform to explore our passions as well as share opinion pieces and thought leadership articles,” she said.
Among her honors are the NYU Schack Urban Leadership Award and Scholarship, WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate Scholar, and the ICSC Foundation Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., Graduate National Scholarship. She also is an active member in industry associations such as CREW and Professional Women in Construction.
As to how she juggles these multiple roles, Wendt said, “I look at everything as a puzzle and see each day as an opportunity to put together the pieces. If you have a passion, you make it fit into your schedule.” Next month, she will start a new job as a development associate at Pennrose on its New York residential team.