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Pitt Business Teams Up with JLL for Real Estate Finance Academy

Pitt Business students meet with leaders from JLL Pittsburgh on the kick off for the Pitt Business Real Estate Academy at the company's downtown headquartersThe Pitt Business Real Estate Finance Academy, now in its second year, has partnered with global real estate firm JLL to offer students a series of industry workshops taught by the company’s leaders.

Pitt Business students traveled to JLL’s downtown Pittsburgh high-rise for the kick-off meeting in December 2017. Amid the backdrop of an executive conference room that offered views of the city skyline, JLL Managing Director JC Pelusi gave students an overview of the company’s growing operations and introduced members of his management team.

With annual gross revenues of $6.4 billion, JLL is a Fortune 500 real estate services firm that supports clients across a range of functions. Building, leasing, project management, facilities management, payment processing, and strategy and analytics all fall under the company’s umbrella of comprehensive services.

JLL has 78,000 employees around the world, including more than 400 at its Pittsburgh hub office. In total, JLL manages more than 5 billion square feet of real estate and serves clients in about 280 corporate offices.

“Real estate is becoming a big global player as major investors diversify their portfolio,” Pelusi told the students.

Also present at the meeting was Lucas B. Piatt, president and chief operating officer of Millcraft. His organization is involved in real estate development, hospitality management, and leasing services throughout Western Pennsylvania. Specializing in bold, creative projects, Millcraft was the first company to develop a mixed-use high-rise building in downtown Pittsburgh in 30 years when it spearheaded the project to build the JLL Center near Market Square.

Piatt told the students that Millcraft is focused on community-enhancing projects that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

“We saw a movement, not just regionally but nationally, to return to the urban core,” Piatt said.

There were more than a dozen Pitt Business students who attended the kick-off session. Students represented the full spectrum of business majors, from finance and accounting to marketing and supply chain management.  At the meeting, the students introduced themselves and shared their motivations for joining the academy.

The upcoming workshops, which will be held at the JLL offices, will focus on critical issues in real estate finance, including:

  • Data analytics
  • Investment sales analysis
  • Logistics and e-commerce
  • Future of work
  • Development feasibility analysis
  • Project build-out
  • FM building operational review

The Pitt Business Real Estate Finance Academy is part of the school’s innovative, award-winning Professional Academies Program. The academies are designed to provide co-curricular professional development and networking opportunities in fields that are complementary to students’ Bachelor in Science in Business Administration degree. Pitt Business also offers a Professional Sales Academy taught by corporate partners and plans to launch new academies in the 2018-19 academic year.

Pitt Business Associate Dean Audrey J. Murrell told the students that, going forward, the school will link the Academy Program to the school’s International Internship Program, which operates in cities around the world. JLL has offices around the world and operates in 80 countries, making them an ideal partner for this new component of the academies.

“At Pitt Business, our mission is to take students from the classroom, to the city, to the world, and the Professional Academies help us deliver on that mission by exposing students to real-world business experiences at top organizations. We are delighted to have JLL as the sponsor of our Real Estate Finance Academy, as there is no better organization to teach our students the depth and breadth of the global real estate professional services industry,” says Murrell, who is also the director of the school’s David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership.

The students will meet throughout spring 2018 at JLL’s downtown offices for sessions of the Real Estate Finance Academy.

For more information about the Pitt Business Professional Academies, contact