IREM Names “Student of Year” Scholarship Winner

The recipient of this year’s “Student of the Year” scholarship awarded by IREM and the IREM Foundation was been announced. She is Dan Nguyen, a senior honors student at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Dan Nguyen

Dan Nguyen

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Chicago—The recipient of this year’s “Student of the Year” scholarship awarded by IREM and the IREM Foundation was been announced. She is Dan Nguyen, a senior honors student at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Nguyen is pursuing dual bachelor’s degrees in property management and real estate in college.

The scholarship includes an all-expenses-paid trip to IREM’s 2014 Fall Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. At that conference, a formal recognition ceremony will take place to honor Nguyen. The scholarship was created to recognize college or university students who’ve displayed academic attainment, while also showing an interest in real estate management careers.

“IREM realized several years ago that the median age of credentialed Certified Property Managers stood in the mid- to upper 50s, and that it was critical we connect with younger generations to ensure ethical, qualified and experienced property managers continue to enter the field,” Dee Headley, Indianapolis-based CFP and vice president with Cassidy Turley, tells MHN.

IREM now works with a number of colleges and universities to make the institutions aware of the education provided by IREM. “For the past few years, we have been actually meeting with all these colleges, and we realize that at times, students could not afford to go to conferences,” Headley adds. “The scholarship awarded to the ‘Student of the Year’ allows that student to see the full scope of how IREM can be your career partner for life.”

Headley adds there are a number of initiatives offered by IREM to help students comprehend property management careers. “For instance, there are job shadowing opportunities,” she says. “Many of our members have appeared on panels discussing property management at various college’s real estate clubs. We have student memberships in IEM on a local level, allowing them to affiliate with a local chapter. We have young professional events in conjunction with some colleges.

“And at the high school level, we are working to produce a YouTube video introducing high school students to property management as a career option. Those videos will be distributed through guidance counseling offices.”

In a letter of recommendation accompanying Nguyen’s submission, Rosemary Goss, Ph.D., Property Management Advisory Board professor and associate director of Virginia Tech’s program in real estate, observed that Nguyen had been a student in at least five of the property management classes she teaches.

Says Goss: “When grading her essay questions I am always amazed at how she synthesizes the material and how she connects her class work to the real world, even though she only has been a part of the U.S. culture for five years.”

Nguyen received eight additional referrals and endorsements from IREM members and other industry practitioners.

Nguyen says her career objective is to “pursue a career in asset management, which will allow me to identify ways to improve the financial performance of properties and add value to them.”

Once she becomes a real estate professional, she says she hopes to participate and contribute to the programs and organizations that assisted her, “as a way to give back and advance the real estate management industry,” she says.