James Barrios and his Peer Leadership Program mentor and fellow MSRE candidate Natalie Anthony.
James Barrios and his Peer Leadership Program mentor and fellow MSRE candidate Natalie Anthony.

MSRE student explains how he benefitted from connecting with his peers as a mentee in the Peer Leadership Program

By James Barrios, BSBA ’19, MSRE ’20

As a combined degree Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) student, I have been involved in and greatly benefitted from the new Peer Leadership Program. After transferring to the University of Florida from Miami, Florida, my junior year, I became involved with the UF Real Estate Society. Through the Real Estate Society, I was able to learn more about the industry, and ultimately, through internship exposure, I decided to pursue a master’s in real estate at the Warrington College of Business.

Like most MSRE students, I was attracted to the program’s reputation, academics, administration and the UF Real Estate Advisory Board. The UF Kelley A. Bergstrom Real Estate Center’s resources are unlike any other, and I truly believe that the Peer Leadership Program is now another valuable asset offered to new MSRE students.

Peer Leadership Program leader Mike Harris and James Barrios.

Peer Leadership Program leader Mike Harris and James Barrios at the Trends Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Alex Caputo (BSBA ’18, MSRE ’19), founder of the Peer Leadership Program, is an individual who saw the chance to make a difference for new combined degree MSRE students like myself. The biggest challenge for most MSRE students is getting connected. Trying to assimilate to the new academics and figuring out what is expected from both the administration and the Advisory Board can be a difficult task. The Peer Leadership Program is a great opportunity to build on the connected culture of the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate Program by assigning an experienced MSRE candidate to a group of mentees, helping them with direction and instantly creating a sense of belonging.

I was fortunate to be paired with Natalie Anthony (BSBA ’18, MSRE ’19). She was proactive in reaching out to me, scheduling times to speak, and connecting me with other MSRE candidates and Advisory Board members. Natalie also shared with me how she’s benefitted as a mentor of the Peer Leadership Program.

“The MSRE Peer Leadership Program has been such a rewarding experience and has allowed me to give back to UF during my last semester,” she said. “Mentoring has allowed me to pass along several tips and tricks that I wish I had learned when I was first starting in the MSRE program…Watching your mentees succeed is one of the best parts.”

All in all, the Peer Leadership Program is a valuable resource to new MSRE candidates. I look forward to transitioning now into a mentoring role and working with Mike Harris (BABA ’19, MSRE ’20), as he will now be leading the program.


Want to learn how you can benefit from a mentorship while studying real estate? Request information about the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate today.