Mike Harris, fourth from left, with fellow MSRE students at the 2019 Trends Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Mike Harris, fourth from left, with fellow MSRE students at the 2019 Trends Conference in Orlando, Florida.

MSRE Peer Leadership program helps new students navigate networking, job searching and graduate studies

By Mike Harris, BABA ’19, MSRE ’20

As a proud member of the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program at the UF Warrington College of Business, I’m excited to be leading the Peer Leadership program. The program is designed to have experienced MSRE students ensure a smooth transition into graduate school for new students by mentoring them and giving them advice on how to succeed.

I recently spoke to my classmate and founder of the Peer Leadership program Alex Caputo about why he started the Peer Leadership program in the first place.

“[For me,] starting the MSRE program as a combined degree student was a little bit daunting at first,” he said. “I didn’t really know how to approach networking with industry professionals and didn’t know where to start on my job search. I wanted to jump-start the process of integrating new students into the program.”

By establishing the Peer Leadership program, we not only build a strong foundation for students to succeed in the program, but we also connect them with professionals in the industry and teach them networking tricks that have worked for us in the past, giving new students an edge when first starting out.

I currently mentor three MSRE students: Margo Utter, Robby Holihan and Josue Collado. I like to have a monthly lunch with my mentees as a way to stay connected and talk about what they are actively doing to differentiate themselves from their peers as well as go over their goals to make sure they are on path to accomplishing them. We also communicate regularly through phone to keep them accountable and to answer any questions they may have regarding school, internship opportunities or just life in general.

In fact, before the UF Trends Conference, I met with my mentees, as well as new students Connor Kreis, James Barrios and Ian Breyer, to go over a plan of who I can introduce them to. We also discussed  networking tips on how to make a great first impression so that they felt well-prepared and comfortable going into the conference. Being able to introduce my mentees to some of the Advisory Board members, like RJ Walker and Scott MacLaren, as well as see my mentees thrive at the conference and use the advice I gave them was not only rewarding as a mentor, but also proof that the Peer Leadership program is working!

I am excited to lead the program next year, help students thrive in the MSRE program, and teach them how to make long lasting relationships with Advisory Board members and real estate professionals alike so that they can one day be successful in the industry!


Want to learn how you can thrive in the real estate industry like Mike and his mentees? Request information about the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate today.