May 16, 2022

Schack Institute Spotlight: Graduating Student Series - Xuanyu Zhu

Xuanyu Zhu is a graduating student in the MS in Real Estate Development program at the NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate. For his dedication and hard work in earning his Schack degree, he earned the prestigious Schack Academic Excellence Award in Real Estate Development. Here he shares insights into his NYU SPS Schack experience and post-graduation plans.

What has been your favorite NYU SPS experience?
The best and my favorite part of earning a degree from NYU SPS has been learning from and making connections with professionals in the real estate field, such as Schack faculty members Marc Shapiro, Robert Buchsbaum, Raquel Ramati, Matthew Kwatinetz, Barry Hersh, and Mark Maimone.

Looking back at your NYU SPS experience, what are you most proud of?
Studying hard and keeping up in every course. Some courses, such as legal principles, are entirely new things for me. They are challenging but also very beneficial. And to be honored with the Schack Academic Excellence Award in Real Estate Development is an accomplishment that I am incredibly proud of from my time at NYU SPS.

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite was the Capstone course, where I put all I had learned from Schack together and incorporated it into our final project. I am on the development track with a concentration in Business Development. My capstone is an individual project in which I propose the addition of a video production facility on the Made in New York Campus in Brooklyn.

At Schack, I learned how to utilize various sources to make market analyses, understand zoning regulations, construct Pro Forma, analyze potential public opposition, and create a marketing plan. I incorporated all I learned into my capstone project and got a lot of support from the Schack professors. Professor Hersh told me a local group, UPROSE, might oppose my project, which led me to analyze my project's public perception further. Professor Kwatinetz, a professional in economic development and the video production industry, provided me with important information not published by these production studio developers, such as how the marketing process is arranged and how the lease is structured. I appreciate the chance to learn from their experience and insight.

What is something you wish you had known when you started at NYU?
I wish I had known that professors at NYU are all very nice people and that I could reach out to them when I feel confused regarding courses and my career path. Unfortunately, as an international student, it took me a long time to be brave enough to reach out to professors.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I plan to apply for a PhD program in urban planning, but before that, I will travel across countries to relax and learn from different cities in the world.

At Schack, I learned the concept of urban economic development, and I think the public and private sectors must work together to make inclusive growth. I want to convert what I learned from NYU and later Ph.D. programs into planning efforts or economic development projects after graduation, but whether in the public or private sectors will depend on the market condition and regulatory environment.

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