(l. to r.): Connor Axtell, Christopher Siemasko, Tucker Wells, Sunjoli Aggarwal, Wesley Gilmer, Max Lerner
May 10, 2017
Dallas (SMU) May 5, 2017—Six SMU undergraduates took high honors at the 2017 University of Southern California (USC) Marshall International Real Estate Case Competition in Los Angeles in late April.
Once the judges’ votes were tallied, hometown favorite USC barely edged out SMU, which emerged with a close second place finish, closer to the top prize than any previous SMU team in three years of competition.
SMU’s award-winning 2017 team consisted of Cox School of Business and Lyle School of Engineering majors. They competed against host team USC and seven other teams from around the world: the National University of Singapore; Ohio State University; University of Auckland (New Zealand); University of Colorado; University of Texas at Austin; University of Wisconsin; and Villanova.
“It was no small feat for SMU to go head-to-head with global competitors and come so close to beating USC, which not only had the ‘home field’ advantage, but also won last year,” said Joseph Cahoon, director of the Cox School’s Folsom Institute for Real Estate. “Combining the best undergraduate talent from both the Cox School of Business and the Lyle School of Engineering, our students proved that SMU is truly training the next generation of leaders in the real estate industry.”
The competition gave students the opportunity to test their abilities in developing innovative finance and design solutions for the redevelopment of a 50-acre site in the San Fernando Valley, which was the former Rocketdyne manufacturing facility. The competing teams were given only 72 hours to research, strategize and develop sophisticated written, visual and oral presentations. Each team then traveled to Los Angeles to present to a large panel of judges made up of prominent industry leaders in Southern California.
The 2017 SMU Team included: Sunjoli Aggarwal (BS ’20), a double major in computer engineering and statistical science; Connor Axtell (BBA ’18), a triple major in finance, real estate and French; Wesley Gilmer (BBA ’18), a double major in finance and real estate; Max Lerner (BBA ’18), majoring in finance and real estate, with a mathematics minor; Chris Siemasko (BBA ’18) a double major in finance and real estate; and Tucker Wells (BBA ’17), a real estate finance major, who will graduate later this month.
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SMU Cox School of Business