For many college students, the scariest thing about graduation is finding a job. But, at the Kornblau Real Estate Program at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, opportunity is behind nearly every door.
“We offer a resource to businesses,” said Robert Taylor, executive director of the Kornblau Real Estate Program. “We say, ‘Here’s the next generation of real estate leaders.’” Housed in Snead Hall, the Kornblau program focuses on the financial aspects of real estate. Students are educated in commercial real estate, corporate real estate, and even flipping houses. But the biggest assets it offers are connections through the real estate community.
Kornblau graduate Holly Law Eve is the director of the division of real estate management at the Virginia Department of General Services. Eve is a member of the Kornblau program’s Real Estate Circle of Excellence, one of the many groups that allows the program to stay in contact with alums and successful real estate figures.
“The Kornblau program is designed to connect to local leaders in the real estate industry to support, mentor and network with the students,” Eve said. “The Kornblau program is also very effective at matching students to internship opportunities so they have true hands-on positive working experience prior to graduation.”
The program offers opportunities for students to connect with real estate professionals through the Real Estate Circle of Excellence, The VCU Real Estate Trends Conference, and their Association of Real Estate Alumni.
“We’re out here promoting our program and promoting our students,” Taylor said.
The program is named for Sam Kornblau, a Richmond community leader, World War II veteran and real estate entrepreneur. Kornblau initiated a scholarship in the 1990s and, after receiving overwhelming thanks from students, donated $2.6 million to found the Kornblau Institute. The institute allows academics to study the science of real estate in depth.
Kathryn Binns is the most recent recipient the Sam Kornblau scholarship, president of Rho Epsilon — VCU’s national professional real estate fraternity — and a junior in the Kornblau program. She also interns at the Virginia Housing and Development Authority, as a part of her scholarship.
Taylor is an integral part of student successes, providing support, tough love and laughs to the students who need and deserve it, Binns said.
“It’s great knowing there’s someone there for you in the program,” she said of Taylor.
Upon transferring to VCU, Binns tested all her options by visiting an open house in Snead Hall. There, she met Taylor and Kara Nickerson, a future colleague at the VHDA, who convinced her of the program’s perks.
“They said, ‘You’re a real estate major now.’ Going to that open house is the best decision I ever made,” Binns said.