The Commercial Real Estate Finance (CREF) program at the College of Charleston School of Business is raking in more career-boosting advantages for its ready-to-work students. Recently, the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM) named CofC’s School of Business a university alliance partner for its undergraduate real estate program.
When Mike Gelber ’17 graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in finance, he was ready to make his mark in the world by working for one of the nation’s largest banking institutions. But, once he decided to trade in investments and financial markets for code, he struck gold.
Six months after working in the finance industry, Gelber left to pursue a career in technology — a tough feat considering he did not possess the background. Despite that, he landed a job at the internet advertising exchange company AppNexus in New York. While working there, he began to teach himself how to code and eventually enrolled in a coding boot camp at Columbia University. With two years at AppNexus, four months of boot camp and a new wealth of knowledge under his belt, Gelber left AppNexus to start his own company with his co-founder, Paul Ballas.
The company was built from the ground up thanks to endless hours spent coding — 14-hour days, seven days a week, for over a month, to be exact.
“In the end, we built a deeply powerful, but stunningly simple product,” says Gelber. Enter AdHouse.
AdHouse is a revolutionary online advertising product for health care providers such as doctors, surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists and nutritionists. It gives health care providers autonomy while providing them more bang for their buck.
“Many healthcare providers are tasked not only with providing a service, but also owning a business and building a brand to get patients in the door,” explains Gelber. “Not only is that an incredibly difficult thing to do, but they are up against huge management companies that are paying agencies millions of dollars and can’t compete.”
Gelber says that AdHouse fills an important gap by giving small businesses access to a tool that large ad agencies use, but stripping it down enough to make it easy to use and inexpensive.
“Our service is so easy to use that a health care provider with no advertising experience can buy ads in less than 60 seconds,” he shares.
Healthcare practitioners can use granular targeting to display ads across the internet according to specific zip codes and those who have specific insurance providers. Their ads will appear in places like the New York Times, WebMD, USA Today, Men’s Health and more.
Although his current career may not directly align with his degree to the naked eye, even as a numbers-focused finance major, Gelber’s time at the School of Business gave him a glimpse of entrepreneur life. He credits his involvement in entrepreneurship classes offered by the School and the School of Business Investment Program led by Mark Pyles, Ph.D. as great trial runs for the duties he now performs as a co-founder.
“Constantly presenting in front of people and front loading that nervousness as a student helps so that later in life, you’re more comfortable talking to a room of people.”
According to Gelber, people made the transition from finance to owning a tech business easier.
“It really comes down to who is willing to talk to you and who is willing to teach you,” he says.
AdHouse officially launched last month to help health practitioners brand their practice at the lowest cost, with no prior knowledge and little time commitment. For more information, visit the website.
The College of Charleston School of Business has entered a two-year partnership with GM Advisory Group (GMAG), a New York-based independent wealth management firm, and Barron’s Group, a financial news publisher owned by Dow Jones & Company, to provide students and faculty with a suite of resources to supplement their studies and professional development.
As part of the program, students and faculty at the School of Business will receive digital access to Barron’s online content, weekly newsletters and webinars. Representatives of GMAG will also make campus visits to speak about financial planning, investment management and other topics related to students’ courses of study and interests.
“In today’s fast-paced economic environment, it’s important to stay current with the latest trends and developments in wealth management such as estate and tax planning, asset and risk management, financial planning, and accounting,” said Frank Marzano, managing principal of GM Advisory Group. “We’re excited to be collaborating with Barron’s to enrich the educational experience at the School of Business with news and insights from our team of experienced professionals.”
Over the next two years, select groups of students will be invited to visit the New York headquarters of Dow Jones for tours of the Barron’s and Wall Street Journal newsrooms and to participate in workshop sessions. The dean of the School of Business will also nominate three students to serve as program ambassadors — a distinction that carries additional mentorship benefits.
Additionally, GMAG will engage with the School of Business’s career services team to communicate about internship and job opportunities.
“We are excited to team up with GM Advisory Group and the Barron’s in Education Program for this opportunity to enhance the student experience,” said Alan T. Shao, dean of the College of Charleston’s School of Business. “This partnership will not only reinforce our mission to prepare students to effectively and responsibly address business challenges, but it will also be valuable for our dedicated faculty.”
The Barron’s in Education program engages with business schools nationally, with programs at other universities — such as Penn State, the University of Chicago, Duke, NYU and the University of Virginia — having taken part in recent years.
“We are so pleased to bring the Barron’s in Education Program to the College of Charleston School of Business with support from GM Advisory Group,” said Joe Lanza, director of Financial Education at Barron’s Group. “All business school students and faculty will have access to Barron’s digital content along with experiential learning elements designed to help promote financial proficiency for the next generation of business leaders.”
“For us, supporting a school based in Charleston was a natural choice,” Marzano said. “Charleston has become a second home to us over the years: we serve a number of clients in the area, and we’re looking forward to spending more time there in the coming months to deepen our relationship with the community.”
Recently, Elaine Worzala, Ph.D. was interviewed by Point2 Homes on what growing cities like Toronto should do in order to counter urban density challenges. Is vertical sprawl, horizontal sprawl or missing middle housing the answer? Worzala lends her viewpoint:
For me, it has to be the middle road. People want to live in communities that are comfortable to be in, walkable, safe and enjoyable — where all the services for daily life are relatively close at hand, such as schools, day- or elderly care, grocery shopping, churches, entertainment and recreational areas. Density is not a bad word and it is important as continuous sprawl is clearly unhealthy for all.
For Worzala’s full response and the article in its entirety, read the Point2 Homes article here.
Worzala is a professor of Finance and the director of the Carter Real Estate Center at the College of Charleston School of Business. She earned her undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An active member of several academic and professional organizations, Worzala has completed projects for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, International Council of Shopping Centers, Pension Real Estate Association and National Association of Realtors.
Having spent time in both the School of Business and the Honors College, alumna Ariel Benton ‘18 (Finance) has successfully made the transition from one of our ready-to-work students into an accomplished young professional.
The Honors College recently sat down with the newly minted graduate to discuss her journey to the College, her time in the School of Business Investment Program and how it led her to her current role as an analyst at Raymond James in their Accelerated Development Program.