Industry Speakers Bring Real-World Lessons to DePaul Real Estate Classes

Nestor Eliadis
Nestor Eliadis (MBA ’10)

When he was studying real estate at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, Nestor Eliadis (MBA ’10) remembers being inspired by the industry professionals invited to speak in class by his professor, Charles Wurtzebach, who is now chair of the Department of Real Estate.

“Professor Wurtzebach invited a plethora of professionals who came from all parts of the real estate industry,” Eliadis recalls. “They influenced me in many ways. I always appreciated the guest lecturers who came in and shared what they do day to day, their motivations, and how they deliver value in the industry.”

Eliadis has now stepped into the role of guest lecturer, paying it forward by sharing with current DePaul students what he has learned as senior director of real estate for Walgreens. He is among more than 60 alumni and industry leaders whom the Department of Real Estate welcomes into its classrooms annually to connect theory and practice, says Wurtzebach. “Our many guest speakers add valuable insights, which complement our students’ coursework.”

Eliadis most recently visited Wurtzebach’s Real Estate Investment and Finance spring class for JLL employees, where he challenged students to solve a real estate case study he created to provide a real-world look at commercial real estate management.

“The case is loosely based on my professional experience at Walgreens,” he explains. “It’s about a professional who is an asset manager for a retailer – and new to a company. The professional is tasked with driving value through a rent reduction program across a national portfolio of retail properties with varying degrees of maturity and performance.”

The case study spurred an engaging discussion between Eliadis and Wurtzebach’s students, who proposed various tactics for executing rent reductions by defining a set of negotiating and financial principles. “I treat my lecture more like a working session, which challenges the class to come up with solutions to the case. I get more joy hearing and absorbing their creative thoughts, and I think the class appreciates the learning experience, too.”

Rachel Cerrone, a student in the course, says working through the case study with classmates was a great way to learn. “Nestor did a great job of making our lessons come to life, and he made it very interactive, helping us to arrive at the right conclusions through critical thinking and discussion, instead of telling us the answers outright.”

Eliadis says he looks forward to sharing the case with future classes and also participating in Department of Real Estate events, which he does two-to-three times a year to network and share advice with students.

“I owe a lot in my career to the education I received at DePaul,” he says “For me it’s a way of giving back by influencing and challenging students in different ways, and impacting the next generation of DePaul graduates.”

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