May 16, 2022

Schack Institute Spotlight: Graduating Student Series – Ivan Chen

Ivan Chen is a candidate for the MS in Real Estate with a concentration in Finance & Investment at the NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate. He is an associate at Green Hollow Capital Partners, where he works on special situation transactions targeting distressed debt and equity opportunities and is graduating May 19.

What are the highlights of your time at Schack?
I interned at Spandrel Development Partners as an analyst working on new multifamily developments throughout the Southeast region. It was a fantastic opportunity to immediately apply what I learned in my classes at my job and vice versa. I also served as an editor-in-chief of  Blueprint, the student-led real estate publication. It is a great platform for NYU students to explore and write about topics that they are most passionate about, whether it’s the status of the real estate economy or emerging technological trends. And recently, during my final semester at Schack, I started working at Green Hollow Capital Partners as an associate.

What has been your favorite Schack experience?
This semester, I enjoyed co-hosting a webinar on the “Future of Cities” with Professor Matthew Kwatinetz and Professor Scott Robinson. Preparing for the webinar was an opportunity to look at recent data and see how cities have changed during the pandemic–from rising migration to the Sunbelt states to the decreased ridership on public transportation. We discussed whether these shifts were transitory or the beginning of a secular trend. Through this experience I learned how to present data in a way that people unfamiliar with real estate could understand clearly.

Looking back on your time at Schack, of what are you most proud?
As an editor-in-chief of Blueprint, I’ve had the honor of working with our team of passionate journalists from across NYU who have built it into a terrific publication. The diversity of real estate perspectives helps us look at new ways to improve the built environment and share our ideas with our peers and industry professionals. With the support of the administration and faculty, Blueprint has increased its reach to the greater real estate community. We also co-hosted two webinars with faculty to expand Blueprint into new media. With a very capable leadership team in place for next year, the publication is in great hands.

What was your favorite class and why? Favorite professors and why?
My favorite class was “Real Estate Capital Markets” with Professor Robinson. It was an intellectually stimulating class on topics that I was initially unfamiliar with. In that class, we acquired the technical skills to value publicly traded REITs and analyze securitized loans. I am utilizing many of the analytical skills I learned in that class at my current job.

What is something you wish you had known when you started at the Schack Institute?
Time goes by quickly. I moved from San Francisco to NYC in April 2021 and will be graduating just one year after. Things often got busy with classes, work, and Blueprint. I wish I had more time to connect with fellow students. My advice to new and prospective students is to make the most of your time here. There are so many ways to get involved and build relationships with your peers. I plan to stay involved with the program in the future as an alumnus.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I will continue to work at Green Hollow Capital Partners, where I underwrite real estate transactions targeting distressed debt and equity opportunities. It’s an interesting time to work because the real estate economy has become bifurcated during the pandemic—with some property types seeing record rent growth and others seeing record vacancies.

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