Immersive Field Course: Boston; Private Equity Real Estate Investing and Development

Course Number 6084

Professor Arthur I Segel
Four on-campus sessions on Wednesdays from 5:45pm - 7:15pm: September 12, September 26, October 10, November 28
Dates: Immersion begins on Thursday, January 3, and ends on Friday, January 11, 2019
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 real estate investing and development.

Set in Boston, this course will appeal to students planning to lead, advise, and/or invest in companies with a current or future presence in one of America’s largest metropolises and Harvard’s backyard. 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. Boston is one of its most dynamic epicenters.

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 Seth Klarman and Joshua Boger, represent some of the leading innovators engaging in investing and securitization as well as biotech development in Boston and throughout the world.

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 events from Professor Segel’s previous IFCs include a real estate panel with Owen Thomas (CEO, Boston Properties), Mike Fascitelli (former CEO, Vornado), and Craig Robinson (CEO of Global Corporate Services, Newmark Knight Frank), 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 Bridgewater Associates chairman and founder, Ray Dalio.

Course Content and Organization

Potential project partners include:

  • AEW Capital Management
  • Bain Capital
  • Baupost Group
  • Boston Properties      
  • Cambridge Associates
  • Carpenter & Company         
  • CBL & Associates Properties
  • Davis Companies      
  • Harvard University
  • Highfields Capital Management
  • HighVista Strategies
  • Jamestown     
  • Long Point Capital    
  • National Development         
  • Pilot House Ventures Group
  • Poorvu Family Foundation  
  • Intercontinental        
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Samuels & Associates
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals        
  • WS Development      


Potential January sessions include:

  • Harvard Management Co.
  • Boston’s Seaport
  • Boston Sports
  • Boston & the Arts
  • Boston & the Life Sciences
  • Boston & Its Back Bay
  • Harvard & Allston
  • Real Estate & Boston’s Investors

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 Boston 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 Boston. 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 select group meals and local travel arrangements when applicable). Students will be charged a course fee of $350.00 towards defraying a portion of course related 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.