Spring 2024: 'Like drinking from a firehose...' - MIT Center for Real Estate
students hanging out in the CRE student lounge

Spring 2024: ‘Like drinking from a firehose…’

In The News

Explore the highlights of Spring 2024 at MIT’s MSRED program, from starting ventures, to immersive site tours, engaging guest speakers, and student-led podcasts.

March 27, 2024 | Cambridge MA

Spring 2024 marked the beginning of a new semester following the busy holiday season and MIT’s Independent Activities Period. The famous MIT quote, “Getting an education from MIT is like taking a drink from a firehose,” never felt so accurate. We’re excited about how much activity has been going on inside and outside the CRE classroom – but we’re also hoping everyone takes time to relax this spring break week. Here’s a mere snapshot of the Class of 2024’s activities this Spring:

Budding Entrepreneurs

The semester commenced with exciting news as MSRED 2024 students Reem Kseibati and Daniel (Chan Yong) Lee‘s venture team secured a spot in the MITdesignX Accelerator 2024 cohort. Their venture, Numanac, focuses on food security, particularly on U.S. federal agencies’ food systems risk mitigation practices. Cohort applications go through a rigorous selection process that reviews venture ideas based on human, environmental and social impact, feasibility, uniqueness, and scalability as well as team composition, diversity and skillset. In May, during “pitch-out”, DesignX teams will present a professional pitch deck, and showcase their prototypes to an audience of peers, investors, stakeholders, and civic and industry partners.

Studio Site Tours

giuliana d'Mambro talks to msred students about the prudential building

The semester’s educational journey began with immersive site tours in Real Estate Development (RED) Studio. Christopher Carr MSRED/MBA and Giuliana Di Mambro MBA/MCP of Boston Properties (BXP) led the class on an illuminating tour of BXP/Prudential. Students learned about the history and challenges of the Prudential Center (Pru) project, including the development of View Boston, the newly opened observatory atop the “Pru.”

In mid-February, the MSRED 2024 cohort embarked on the annual NYC Mixed-Use Development Tour. The class toured the iconic Rockefeller Center with Tishman Speyer, Deutsche Bank Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center with Related Companies, City Point with Arcadia Partners, and the vibrant Essex Crossing/Seward Park with New York City Economic Development Corporation. The class had an unforgettable trip and gleaned industry insights while experiencing a behind-the-scenes view of the dynamic real estate landscape of New York City.

msred class photo on top of skyscraper overlooking New York City

Industry Visits

In March, the Center welcomed Steven Kelly, CEO of Timberline, to speak at the Thought Leader Lecture series. Steven shared his wisdom on business, real estate, and entrepreneurship, drawing from his extensive experience at the helm of Timberline Construction Corporation and Timberline Communications Inc. He encouraged MSRED students to become the leaders needed for the world’s next phase of evolution.

Throughout the semester, MSRED students Jason Ng, Viet Nguyen, and Daniela Morales (Dept. Urban Studies and Planning) conducted seven enlightening interviews with industry innovators for the student led Meet the Visionaries podcast. Their dedication to showcasing diverse perspectives within the real estate field demonstrates their commitment to knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

Parties and Pies

On March 14, the MSRED class celebrated Pi-Day with Petsi Pies in the student lounge, coinciding with MIT’s 24-Hour Challenge fundraiser. This year the School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) focused the fundraiser on the newly established, David Geltner Catalyst Fund, to honor Professor David Geltner’s lasting contributions to real estate education at MIT. David’s fund will support our students, faculty, and researchers who all work to build up the knowledge and vitality of the real estate development industry. 

harvard gsd and mit/cre directors stand in front of students giving opening speeches

Following Pi-Day, Harvard Graduate School of Design hosted the annual student social for our real estate master’s students on March 15. The Center’s Executive Director, Kairos Shen, and Harvard’s, Professor Jerod S. Kayden, gave welcoming speeches and reminisced. Students from both programs commiserated on upcoming exams together over good food – enjoying the opportunity to connect and forge new friendships.

Thesis Shark Tank

Before Spring Break, MSRED candidates presented their thesis topic ideas in the “Shark Tank” during Thesis Prep in front of a panel of “Sharks”. The panel consisted of: Prof. Albert Saiz, Phillip D. Cohen ’18, Patrick Downey ’20, Lecturer James Scott ’16, Suneeth John ’17, Canan Safar ’12, and Will Stanton. Students presented their research ideas and received valuable feedback. Topics ranged from innovative sustainability approaches to new concepts in affordable housing development and much more. Now, over the next few months students will hone their ideas, consult with their thesis advisor, and write a thoroughly-researched thesis – with the goal of becoming experts in their topic and adding new knowledge to the industry. 

msred student presenting thesis ideas in front of judges panel

We’re looking forward to the final months left ahead with the inspiring and hard-working MSRED Class of 2024!

February Graduates

The Center congratulates the 14 students who completed their theses and earned their master’s degrees in February 2024, extending best wishes for their future endeavors. Congratulations to Christopher, Yoon Cha, Rohit Chauhan, Gautham Chotangada, Wilson (Yizhuo) Ding, Julio Flores Jimenez, Nayeon Hong, Earn (Khanachai) Kittisorayut, David (Sang Hyup) Lee, Mingyao Li, Andy Nader, Marco (Yueqi) Sun, Celine (Ben) Xu, and Tsung-Hsuan Wu!

Spring 2024: ‘Like drinking from a firehose…’