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Penn State Seniors Compete in Tough Villanova Challenge

“It was a great experience working with a team and presenting our development proposal to seasoned real estate professionals,” says Penn State Real Estate senior Kristen Crossman about Villanova University’s 6th Annual Real Estate Challenge. 

The undergraduate case competition, held March 26–27 at the Union League of Philadelphia,featured teams from 14 universities representing the nation’s top real estate programs. The Penn State team included Crossman and fellow seniors John Layton (captain), Henry Fox, and James Gallo.

Competing teams received the actual case, a development project incorporating all aspects of development from financing to design, on Monday, March 23, at 8 a.m.  Presentations were due in person that Thursday at 5 p.m. “The preparation was intense,” says Dr. Andrew Hansz, Penn State faculty advisor for the Villanova competition. “The students didn’t let up. They worked very hard.”  Hansz adds that all four Penn State team members had previously attended a 2-credit case competition course.  

Team members defined their responsibilities for the Villanova presentation early on:  Google Sketchup, a 3-D modeling app used by architects; market research on topics such as demographics and square footage of buildings; environmental considerations, and financial aspects. 

The Villanova Challenge competition was judged by senior executives representing top firms from all areas of the commercial real estate industry. This year’s winners were: First Place, University of North Carolina; Second Place, University of Wisconsin; Third Place, Villanova University. Penn State students will compete in the event again next year, to be held March 31–April 1 in Philadelphia.