Immersive Field Course: New York City; Private Equity and Real Estate

Course Number 6084

Professor Arthur I Segel
Four on-campus sessions from 5:30 - 7 pm: Tuesday, September 19, Thursday, October 19, Monday, November 6 & Tuesday, November 28
Travel dates: Arrival on Wednesday, January 3, departure on Saturday, January 13, 2018
Program fee & travel costs: See details on Course Credit and Fees
Credits: 3.0
Enrollment: 45

Career Focus

Through engagements with a myriad of private sector players and Harvard Business School alumni, this course will provide students with an in-depth and immersive understanding of private equity, investing, and real asset development.

Set in New York City, this course will appeal to students planning to lead, advise, and/or invest in companies with a current or future presence in America’s largest metropolis. The course will take a general management perspective, but will also allow each student team to deeply engage in a specific topic related to private equity or real estate.

Educational Objectives

Although comprising only 5 percent of the world's population, the United States represents 55 percent of the world's capital markets and is recognized as the center for real estate and private equity investing around the world. New York City is its epicenter.

This course will expose students to a collection of creative actors and the highly sophisticated ideas they are developing in the world capital markets of real estate and private equity. These actors (including Howard Marks and Jonathan Rose) represent some of the leading innovators engaging in investing and securitization, as well as, green affordable housing development in New York City and throughout the world. Students will also meet with the players who are undertaking some of the highest profile real estate projects in the Americas, including Eugene Kohn of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the leading architectural firm designing Hudson Yards - one of the largest developments in the U.S.

In addition to engaging with industry leaders, students will be asked to tackle some of the issues and challenges facing leading firms, and consider new approaches to investing, city building, housing and real estate development. Some examples of speakers and events from Professor Segel’s previous New York City Immersion include a real estate panel with Owen Thomas (CEO, Boston Properties), Mike Fascitelli (former CEO, Vornado), and Barry Sternlicht (Chair, Starwood Capital), a discussion with Sidewalk Labs Founder and former Deputy Mayor of NYC Dan Doctoroff, a tour of the Harlem Children’s Zone, and a talk with investor Stan Druckenmiller.

Course Content and Organization

Overview and Introduction: The course will meet for on-campus sessions in the Fall in an effort to: (1) provide a broad overview of the investment and development environment in New York City, (2) highlight some of the real world challenges that investors and developers are facing in this context via case studies, and (3) allow some time for student teams to work together, engage with their project partners in New York City and prepare for travel.

Projects: Students will assemble into teams of 4-6 to work together on projects throughout the course. These projects, sourced and vetted by the faculty, will cover a range of topics related to private equity, investing, and real estate, and most if not all will be led by Harvard Business School alumni working in New York City.

The choice set of projects will include, but not be limited to, working with leading real estate office, retail, and residential development firms (including affordable housing), leading private equity investors (including hedge funds and banks), and cutting edge companies tackling some of today’s most important topics such as ‘smart cities’, “PropTech”, and urban economic development.

Prior to travel, student teams will engage briefly with their client organization, though the time commitment during the Fall term will be limited. Project work in New York City will be intense, and will require solving a specific and well defined strategic problem. Projects will be supported by local contacts and will be enhanced through fieldwork (observational and data collection and analysis) throughout the course.

Deliverables: Student teams will present their project recommendations to clients during a capstone event at the end of the immersion in New York City. Feedback during this capstone will later be incorporated into a group final paper (10 double-spaced pages) that summarizes the final recommendations and provides the organization guidance towards implementing the proposed solution and an individual reflection (5 double-spaced pages) on your experiences and learnings throughout the course.



The Immersive Field Course Model

Immersive Field Courses are designed to offer second-year students an off-campus, experiential learning opportunity during the January term. A cornerstone of these courses is the expertise of faculty, who develop course content focused on teaching objectives that are met primarily through student-centered active learning opportunities including project work, site visits and participating in discussions with key contacts. As such, these courses provide students with an opportunity to apply first-hand the knowledge and skills gained from their on-campus MBA coursework in an off-campus setting.

Due to the nature of Immersive Field Courses students may be required to sign legal agreements requested by project partner organizations.  Additional requirements and documentation may also be requested of students by organizations.

Course Credit and Fees

Students who successfully complete this course (including required participation in all on-campus sessions during the Fall and Spring terms) will earn 3.0 course credits.

HBS will provide logistical support for this course (including hotel accommodations, select meals, and local on-site travel arrangements). Students will be charged a course fee of $2,900 towards defraying a portion of these costs. Students who have an existing financial aid application on file may apply for additional financial support to participate in this course. Please see the Financial Aid website (login required) for more information on financial support for Immersive Field Courses.

For detailed information about what the course program fee includes and excludes, as well as information about student accommodations, please visit the GEO website.