California-based private equity firm, The Bascom Group, LLC (“Bascom”), is investing in the future of real estate at the Leeds School of Business. Bascom has a long history of social outreach and philanthropy, especially supporting real estate education. Bascom’s founders met while studying real estate at the University of Wisconsin, and feel strongly about sharing their love of the industry, which they see as holistic, multidisciplinary and full of potential, with aspiring real estate professionals.
“We want students to get a feel for the industry from the inside, so that everyone can see and benefit what we’ve benefitted from, says Co-founder and Managing Partner, David Kim.
The firm recently made a generous gift to Leeds and the CU Real Estate Center (CUREC)—nearly $400K—to provide students with hands-on opportunities to gain practical skills and industry experience. Central to this gift will be the funding of a new annual undergraduate real estate case competition.
“We support real estate education in general, which is why we support CU Boulder and Leeds, in addition to other select real estate programs across the U.S. We also want to give students the opportunity to understand that this discipline is multidisciplinary. Real estate is a holistic process with many different interests and stakeholders. Balancing that is challenging. [The competition] allows students to get an inside feel for the industry early on.”
Bascom had been funding a similar case competition for MBA students focusing on real estate at Leeds, over the past three years, so a competition that would support Leeds’ growing undergraduate real estate program provided a serendipitous opportunity to continue the partnership with the firm.
“The [MBA] students provided great feedback to the professors [about the competition Bascom supported], so we were interested in investing in another competition for the undergraduates, says Kim.”
A foundation grounded in real business scenarios
This fall, Leeds is launching a new Real Estate emphasis for undergraduate students, in which case studies will play an integral role. The new curriculum includes a capstone course involving a half dozen or more real estate cases that will culminate with the new undergraduate Bascom case competition. The types of real estate cases students will work with vary from figuring out where to locate a new real estate concept to deciding how best to support public infrastructure in ways that encourage economic growth, among other problems developers face.
Case competitions are becoming increasing popular in business higher education and offer many benefits for students’ learning. Young professionals entering the real estate world in particular need to be able to demonstrate to employers that they have not only the understanding of the inner workings of real estate transactions but also the interpersonal and practical skills required to navigate these contracts. On average, recent graduates need to have reviewed at least 6 business cases, for employers to feel confident that they could immediately put them to work a deal.
CUREC is positioning Leeds’ Real Estate program to be nationally recognized. Collaborating with Bascom and other real estate industry leaders on experiential learning opportunities is key to achieving this goal.
“We’re making a powerful statement to the industry that we are prioritizing these hands-on learning opportunities and expanding the real estate program for our undergraduate students, says Mike Kercheval, executive director of CUREC. “By providing our students with this in-demand skillset and connections to our industry partners, we’re opening up new pathways that will allow them to hit the ground running in the real estate market.”
Special thanks to David Kim and The Bascom Group for generously supporting Leeds graduate and undergraduate students and these case competitions. We look forward to continuing our partnership with your firm.