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From aspiring to accomplished

The IREM Student Leaders program jumpstarts careers in real estate management

By Journal of Property Management

An increasing number of students at colleges and universities across the country are pursuing real estate degrees. Several factors contribute to this growth. First, as urbanization and population growth persist, the demand for real estate managers who can effectively oversee and maintain real estate assets to support this trend becomes vital. 

“I hope to make my dreams bigger than myself by helping people find homes where they can feel safe and happy.” —Reilly Egan, Virginia Tech
Second, Generation Z students are at the forefront of raising awareness around environmental concerns and sustainability efforts—especially within the built environment. Energy efficiency, green building design, and environmentally sustainable operations are just a few of the necessary practices being taught through real estate education.

Additionally, the allure of creating financial stability and wealth through real estate investment, development, and management is attracting this new generation of students looking for long-term stability and career growth.

IREM Student Leaders program lends support

To meet this growing demand, many colleges and universities are offering new real estate programs or adapting current business programs to incorporate real estate management, finance, and sustainability principles. IREM currently partners with more than 25 colleges and universities offering these programs and works to connect its students with the vast network of professionals in the real estate management industry—ensuring students are well-prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.

“I envision myself creating sustainable and innovative solutions for managing commercial real estate portfolios. I am passionate about using my skills and knowledge to help investment firms and private real estate investors make informed decisions.”   
—Zykereyes Bennett, Georgia State University
And as these students move through their studies, IREM is committed to recognizing those who achieve academic excellence and are committed to their pursuit of a career in real estate management through the Student Leaders program.

Each year, 10 IREM student members are selected for the IREM Student Leaders program to receive recognition across the IREM network, be mentored by IREM leaders, and attend the IREM Global Summit. Attendance at the Global Summit allows these students to build their networks with professionals from around the world and develop connections that will support their future career pathways.

This year’s group of students has big aspirations for themselves and the industry—and IREM looks forward to supporting them along the way.

Where are they now? Previous IREM Student Leaders making an impact

In recognizing and congratulating this new cohort of IREM Student Leaders, it’s exciting to reflect on the impact of last year’s Student Leaders. While some previous Student Leaders are finishing their studies, others have graduated, many have completed internships with real estate management firms across the country, and a few have even started pursuing their IREM certifications.

“Real estate managers should seek to positively impact their communities and be a resource for those around them. I intend to run my own property management company one day, and I want to use the knowledge I gain through this program to inform my perspectives.” —Rami Daas, Butler University
Jacob Neil, who is currently studying at Brigham Young University, had this to say about his experience in the IREM Student Leaders program: “The Global Summit was the single most impactful experience for my future career. The ability to talk and network with so many people from many different walks of the real estate management industry in one place was truly incredible.” Jacob even secured a commercial real estate management internship thanks to one of the connections he made at the Global Summit.

One of the five pillars of the IREM Strategic Plan is to equip the next generation of real estate managers to impact the future success of the profession. By collaborating with IREM’s network of members, fostering new connections with academic partners, and advancing the IREM Student Leaders program, IREM is on track to empower aspiring real estate managers to become catalysts of positive change and ensure the profession continues to thrive and excel in the years to come.

Zykereyes Bennett
Georgia State University
Charles Casper
University of Wisconsin–Stout
Rami Daas
Butler University

Reilly Egan
Virginia Tech
Nick Gill
Ball State University


Cassidy King
University of Alaska Anchorage

Antonio Maldonado
Danielle Popson
Union University


I’Viaughn Russell
Morehouse College

Nathan Stewart
Brigham Young University

Journal of Property Management

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