A person working on floor plans for a building.

For Professor Jerrod Delaine, a childhood love of drawing houses bloomed into a career in architecture. While he loved the industry, Delaine wanted a career that would bring his ideas from start to finish. So, he pivoted to real estate development. “Have an idea, raise the money, hire an architect, hire a builder, work with the community, and bring it to reality? That’s what I wanted to do,” says Delaine. To prepare for his career shift, he earned his master’s degree in Real Estate Development from the Schack Institute of Real Estate at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. Now, he teaches there.

Discovering a Love of Teaching

“I love to teach, and I love to learn,” says Delaine, whose parents always emphasized the value of education. While working at an architecture firm after college, Delaine ventured into teaching when his interior design colleagues asked for a crash course in architecture. He designed a multipart course that taught architecture fundamentals, and they were blown away. “I remember how good it felt to do that, pull everything together and teach the course,” says Delaine.

Several years later, he started co-teaching NYU’s Real Estate Development course with Professor Shawn Amsler. After co-piloting with an experienced professor, Delaine seamlessly transitioned into teaching the course himself. Today, he teaches several courses, including Real Estate Development, the Real Estate Internship course, and the Real Estate Senior Project course.

Students at a construction site wearing hard hats.

Connecting the Classroom to the Real World

NYU’s undergraduate real estate program is a training ground for aspiring real estate developers. While enrolled, students learn from leaders in the field and gain real-world experience through internships.

Many professors in the Real Estate Development program work full-time in the industry. Delaine is no exception: He founded and serves as the chief executive officer of The Delaine Companies, a real estate development company that focuses largely on affordable housing. As a result, students get the latest information in the classroom. “They’re not just learning from textbooks,” says Delaine. “They’re getting the most up-to-date industry knowledge straight from the people working on projects with industry partners.”

Delaine also helps students bridge the gap between their coursework and the projects they’ll work on as professionals. He thinks internships are critical for students to network and experience the industry. In the internship course he teaches, Professor Delaine additionally coaches his students as they complete them.

“I’m a big believer that if you’re a college student, especially in New York City, you should get an internship,” says Delaine. “The exposure you can get is unbelievable, and there are so many incredible opportunities for you to get amazing, real-time experience.”

A student presenting to their peers in class.

The Value of Networking

NYU professors use their industry connections to bring leaders into the classroom. Delaine remembers hearing Larry Silverstein, the developer who rebuilt the World Trade Center, speak while sitting near the president of Bank of America. What’s more, the power of NYU’s community itself is unparalleled. “When you graduate from NYU, you instantly become part of the network,” he says. “There’s an NYU person in every corner of the real estate industry. Whether you go to a bank, an investment shop, or a government agency, there’s without a doubt somebody who knows somebody that went to NYU.” Wherever NYU graduates go, the stage is set for success.