Graduate Admissions

MCP Alum Douglas Land

Douglas Land

MCP'18

How did you find your current job?
During my first year of graduate school, I applied for a Summer Associate position on the Real Estate Transactions team at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Unfortunately, the spot went to one of my classmates, but I continued to monitor EDC’s job board and applied for a full-time Associate position in my final semester at Penn. Thankfully, I got the job and started shortly after graduation. I’ve been at NYCEDC for three years.

What kind of work are you doing?
My job at NYCEDC involves executing and advising on real estate transactions and public-private partnerships that support growth of quality jobs, promote livable and affordable communities, and facilitate redevelopment projects that drive inclusive growth and positive return to the city. My projects include an affordable housing project in the South Bronx with the first location for the Universal Hip Hop Museum, a cultural facility in Downtown Brooklyn for arts non-profits, and an office building in Midtown Manhattan.

What attracted you to the firm or job?
Working at NYCEDC provides a unique opportunity to take on the responsibility of managing large, complex projects with major NYC developers. You get to work directly with some of the most seasoned professionals in the field and tackle complex issues of land use, design, financing, and public approvals. It’s a terrific foundation for a career in development.

How did your education at Weitzman prepare you for your current tasks?
The public private development concentration in the City Planning program provides excellent training in how to plan, develop, and finance a variety of types of real estate development projects. I learned how to underwrite real estate projects at Weitzman, a skill I use on a daily basis in my current job.

Are there specific courses and instructors that influenced you philosophically?
Introduction to Property Development and Progressive Development completely transformed my understanding of how decisionmakers choose which projects get built.

Any top moment(s) of your education here?
Participating in the Urban Land Institute Hines Student Competition! A phenomenal way to put your coursework to practice and make connections across the university.

What’s next?
There is so much work to be done as NYC recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. I plan to support the City’s rebound through projects focused on economic development targeting the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

Are you keeping in touch with others from your class/the Penn community?
Yes! I am having a few classmates over for dinner next week. The Weitzman community in NYC gets together regularly.

Any words of advice for prospective students?
Think about the decision to attend graduate school as an investment in your future that will pay dividends forever. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do the rewarding work I do today without my Penn degree and the alumni community – they have unlocked countless opportunities that would not have been available otherwise.