Alexis Ashley

Real estate career ready

Inaugural Bergstrom-Crossman Real Estate Scholarship recipient Alexis Ashley’s time in the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate has enabled her to turn her interest in the field into a career.

After earning her undergraduate degree in economics at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 2019, Alexis Ashley started a full-time role with Citi as an audit analyst in data quality and risk modeling. Her degree well prepared her for a role in finance, but Ashley was interested in how she could turn her passion for real estate into a career. 

“I’m an avid traveler and love to see the different effects a building can have on an economy or neighborhood,” she said. “I wanted to work on those deals and be a part of a city transformation.”

The focused curriculum in the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) was just the program to expand Ashley’s education, and with her degree from FAMU, she was eligible for and ultimately became the inaugural recipient of the Bergstrom-Crossman Real Estate Scholarship.

The Bergstrom-Crossman Real Estate Scholarship is an annual scholarship, made available thanks to UF Real Estate Advisory Board Member John Crossman in partnership with UF alumnus Kelley A. Bergstrom, namesake of the Bergstrom Real Estate Center, supporting qualified students for the MSRE program with undergraduate degrees from FAMU or another historically Black college and university (HBCU).

Specifically, the Bergstrom-Crossman Real Estate Scholarship aims to address the lack of diversity in the real estate industry in addition to making a real estate education more equitable and accessible to exceptional students.

“Receiving this scholarship was life changing,” Ashley said. “To be able to focus on studying and learning has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.”

In the MSRE program, Ashley has instead been able to full advantage of the available learning opportunities as well as some risks.

“Joining the program, I thought I knew what real estate was and quickly learned that I only scratched the surface,” she said. “The courses and information from professionals offered to students are invaluable. Being that this program is only 10 months, we don’t have much time to grasp everything the program has to offer. However, if you spend time and use all the resources, you will be in a better position than when you first joined the program.”

With a background in economics, some of Ashley’s favorite lessons in the MSRE program are in finance.

“Investment Property Analysis probably had to be one of the most challenging classes, and I’m an economics major, so I took a macro finance course,” she said. “It was interesting to learn how financial markets affect the economic activity of an entire country.”

Beyond her classes, Ashley was also a member of the MSRE Women Society, which she felt was an important group to join to show representation.

“Some women may be discouraged from pursuing real estate because of the small number of women in the industry,” she said. “It’s important to build a support group of other women who have the same goals to not only encourage this career but educate as well.”

In the MSRE Women Society, Ashley served as the VP of Operations, a role in which she directly helped other female students connect with women who they could learn from in the industry. In addition, she helped plan bonding events for the group members, like an all-female golf trip, to build an internal network among the students.

Overall, Ashley’s experience in the MSRE program has enabled her to accomplish the goals she set out to achieve. In addition to enhancing her skillset and growing her network in the real estate industry, Ashley will soon join Newmark in Tampa where she will be working on the debt capital markets team, specifically on multifamily.

“Since joining the program, I’ve been able to accomplish my goals at a rate I’ve never imagined,” she said.