Eric Martin and Francis Do, students at the University of St. Thomas in Real Estate Studies, have both been awarded Fall 2018 scholarships from the Commercial Real Estate Diversity Collaborative. The Diversity Collaborative, which represents eight industry associations working to increase diversity within the commercial real estate industry, has awarded 12 scholarships to diverse students studying commercial real estate. The $2,000 scholarship supports tuition and books for students from a minority class who are interested in pursuing a career in commercial real estate.
Martin, who was born in South Korea and adopted by an American family, has worked as a leasing consultant for Dominium Management Services, and has assisted in the development of three startup companies. As a Real Estate and Entrepreneurship double-major, Martin plans to graduate in the spring of 2019 and pursue a career in commercial real estate.
“I have always been a big believer in learning from those who have successfully accomplished goals similar to my own in their life,” Martin said. “I want to consume as much knowledge and experience as I can and eventually start my own brokerage or my own team.”
Do, who will graduate in spring 2021, has worked as a listing and sales coordinator for Edina Realty since high school. As a first-generation Vietnamese-American student, his ability to speak three languages – English, Vietnamese, and French – has allowed him to assist Edina Realty’s Lakeville agents with non-English-speaking clients.
“I've always had a passion for real estate -- from house hunting with my parents to working at Edina Realty,” said Do. “I see commercial real estate as a new sector of Real Estate to leverage my passion and interest and discover more and more of this growing industry.”
Each scholarship applicant requires a letter of recommendation from an educator; for Martin, Laurence Harmon, a licensed attorney and adjunct professor at St. Thomas, submitted glowing praise about Martin’s hard work and potential; for Do, Professor Gloria Frost, PHD, praised Do for his written work and critical thinking.
“Of the approximately 125 St. Thomas students with whom I’ve been privileged to work, Eric definitely tops the list,” Harmon said.
About Do, Professor Gloria Frost, PHD, said, “I have rarely encountered a first-year student who has the level of clarity about his future goals as Francis does.”
“It gives the CREDC Scholarship Committee great pleasure to award our Fall 2018 scholarships to motivated, determined students like Eric and Francis,” said Raymond Vaughn, Chair of the Scholarship Committee. “We look forward to working with them and following their commercial real estate careers.”
The Diversity Collaborative has been awarding scholarships since 2013, distributing more than $27,500 in educational support for diverse students who demonstrate an interest in commercial real estate as a career path. In addition to the scholarship, students also are invited to attend industry events, are matched with a commercial real estate professional for mentoring and are provided internship openings from the commercial real estate companies who participate in the DC.
“The CREDC works closely with organizations in our industry and students at local universities to bridge the gap and remove the barriers in their way to successful careers in our industry,” said Stephanie Lee, one of the three co-leaders of the Diversity Collaborative.