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Getting Your MBA as a Commercial Real Estate Professional

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Len Pfeiffer is pursuing his MBA in Finance with an emphasis in Real Estate at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, and is the president of Vanderbilt’s Owen Real Estate Club (OREC). Len has nine years of project management experience in Washington D.C. and was kind enough to share advice for anyone in commercial real estate considering pursuing an MBA.

Three Things to Consider

First, although it sounds obvious, look for schools with strong real estate programs and classes. Many great business schools have little to no real estate curriculums, so ask about their classes and if they have a real estate focus or emphasis.

Second, research and connect with the real estate professors and find programs with both part-time and full-time real estate professors. Real Estate is an extremely fast-paced industry and changes quickly, so having professors who are still in the industry can provide you with unmatched knowledge and connections.

Lastly, if you are trying to pivot into real estate from a previous career path, begin networking and learning about real estate even before you start school. Like every industry, real estate has its own language so knowing the terms and learning about current real estate trends is a great starting point and will help with your business school interviews. Follow the large real estate companies on LinkedIn and Twitter, subscribe to daily/weekly newsletters, follow industry podcasts, join networking organizations and attend events. A great podcast to follow is The Real Estate Guys. This will help build your knowledge base and network.

Did you know…

For the Class of 2020, 96% of Vanderbilt MBA students received a job offer three months post-graduation in 30 metropolitan areas with an average starting salary of $126,000.

The Class of 2021 has 147 students with an average age of 28, and age range of 21-36. Their mean years of work experience is 5.3 years, and they have a median GMAT score of 680.

Vanderbilt’s Owen Real Estate Club (OREC) helps students learn about real estate careers, enables them to network in the real estate community, obtain internships and full-time positions post graduation. To learn more about OREC or Vanderbilt’s MBA program email Len at

Outside of school and OREC Len enjoys playing recreational sports including basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, and football. He also enjoys skiing and snowboarding, especially when it involves travelling to explore new mountains around the world.

CRE615 is a networking group and educational platform for Nashville's next generation of commercial real estate professionals. To learn more visit


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