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Schools will soon be back in session, and our next generation of talent is gearing-up for the 2006/2007 academic year. Increasingly, there are more graduate and undergraduate colleges and universities that have established real estate programs (well over 100 by last count), recognizing that real estate is a core industry deserving of a solid curriculum within business programs. This is good news for our industry and, from my travels to college campuses, it is clear that the real estate programs are also attracting a more diverse student population, indicating that our industry is on track for change.  However, in order to develop this talent pool fully, employers must also invest in internship programs to provide critical training and on-the-job exposure for students as a complement to their class work.  This is a wonderful way for your organization to enhance university real estate programs and also for you to “test-drive” fresh talent for your own organization.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders.

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