Looking to make a name for herself in the world of commercial real estate development, Shelby Rowland is poised for success in that endeavor. Majoring in real estate finance and development, she credits her mentors as well as organizations such as the Commercial Real Estate Women with helping her pursue that goal. She is currently interning with Embrey Partners, the namesake for the college’s real estate program.
My favorite class so far at UTSA is actually a class I am currently taking with Professor Wehrmeyer. The class is titled “Principles of Sustainable Real Estate Development.” In this course, I have taken action to round up eight students as a project manager and lead them through a ground-up development project from start to finish. In this semester-long class, we build a project of our choice, and the project is kept a secret to other classmates until we present it to a panel of investors during our final weeks of school, titled the CCIM Competition. The group with the best project wins!
My favorite professor at UTSA is Tony Ciochetti. Professor Ciochetti is the executive director of the Embrey Real Estate Finance and Development Program and a personal mentor to me. I reached out to him regarding the master’s program last year. Since then, he has helped guide and direct me through the next stages of my professional and academic life. With his help and guidance, I have received the opportunity to work at the internship of my dreams, and I plan to come back to UTSA for the master’s program in the next few years just to be able to learn from him firsthand. I could not thank Professor Ciochetti enough for all his guidance and words of wisdom in the past year.
How has COVID affected your studies or you personally this semester?
COVID has personally affected me and my family. My mother and father, who currently live in my home state of California, have struggled financially in the past year and are continuing to recover even now. As small business owners, they suffered a loss of income due to the shut down of nonessential businesses and watched as their local community went under. Personally, COIVD has been a struggle for me because I live alone in Texas. I had to face the shutdown and the fear of a pandemic all alone. This was a burden on my mental health. I was able to make the most of it by working hard on my studies and getting my Texas Real Estate License. But this did not come without a constant battle with myself to keep my head above water and stay positive.
What have you learned most from your program of study thus far?
The Embrey Real Estate Finance and Development Program has taught me many things over the past four years. I have grown professionally, with heightened networking skills and gained valuable relationships with respected alumni in my field. I have been actively involved in my local community. I have gained knowledge of commercial real estate, real estate finance, mortgage banking, investments and development. I have had several mentors that have helped me identify the field I want to pursue within real estate which is decidedly commercial real estate development. Without UTSA and its professors, I would not be where I am today, thank you UTSA!
Any organizations or activities that you’ve been involved with in the COB or at UTSA?
When I first started at UTSA, I was involved in the Professional Businesswomen’s Society and gained several friends and firsthand networking experience with individuals in the community. As I continued my academic career, I wanted to join an organization that was focused on real estate and professional development. At that time, I attended a community outreach event called UCREW on campus which was hosted by the local organization Commercial Real Estate Women–an organization that I am still actively involved in today. CREW has helped me gain valuable knowledge in commercial real estate and networking.
What are you watching, reading or listening to right now?
In my free time, I enjoy podcasts on real estate and financial investments, as well as several different books on similar topics. I also enjoy books related to personal growth and those that are specifically inspiring to young women in professional fields.
Professional work experience or internships that you’ve participated in?
I just started a new position titled Development Admin Intern at Embrey Partners. For more than 46 years, Embrey has built a record of accomplishment. Their market experience and success is hard to match in the multifamily industry. It is a major accomplishment to be able to work for such a fantastic development company at a young age. I have worked hard to pursue a career with Embrey and have had a great first few weeks starting at their company. Embrey is also one of the main contributors to my undergraduate program at UTSA which carries their name as the Embrey Real Estate Finance and Development program.
What are your future career plans?
My future career plan would be to continue on the path of commercial real estate development. I would like to become an executive for a top development company in Texas or potentially start my own development company in the distant future. Commercial real estate development is a difficult world for women to get into, but I personally believe I have the passion and ambition to keep up and work hard to get where I want to go. I am excited for my future as a professional in San Antonio!