Students ace real estate contest

14 May 2015 | General News
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The winners (from left): Kevin, Jocelyn, Minyang, Colleen, Muhammad Noor Danial and Mark

NUS defended its championship title at the 2015 University of Southern California (USC) Marshall International Real Estate Case Competition, clinching the top spot for the second year running. This is the University's fifth win at the annual event organised by the USC Marshall Business School, reflecting the most number of victories by any university since the inaugural round in 2004.

Open to colleges and universities with undergraduate business real estate programmes, the Competition was held from 13 to 17 April at the USC campus in Los Angeles, California.

To select the team representing NUS in the 11th edition of the competition, the NUS Department of Real Estate held a real estate case competition on 23 September 2014. The participating teams were given a real estate development case prepared by Harvard Business School and only four days to analyse the case study, conduct research, prepare their proposals and present their recommendations to the judging panel comprising industry experts.

Fourth-year real estate students Colleen Yap, Muhammad Noor Danial, Jocelyn Ng, Wang Minyang and Kevin Yap; as well as third-year student Mark Louis Yong were eventually selected to travel to Los Angeles, led by Assistant Professor Masaki Mori.

Battling it out with a slew of better prepared universities in this year's competition, the teams were tasked with addressing a real-world real estate problem posed by leading practitioners. The students had to submit written materials and make an oral presentation with their recommendations before a panel of adjudicators drawn from the real estate industry.

"We competed with some of the very top universities in the US and learnt a great deal about the US real estate industry from the other teams, said Colleen.

With sound analysis and months of groundwork, the NUS team emerged as the overall victor, outshining other established universities such as the USC, New York University and Ohio State University.

Professor Deng Yongheng, Provost's Chair Professor and Head of the NUS Department of Real Estate, lauded the team's analytical adeptness in a competition that provided "a learning environment which stimulates thinking and encourages the use of practical industry approaches to real estate issues.