Hotel Real Estate Development College Grad in Dallas Texas
Name: Laura
Career: Project Manager
Company Field: Real Estate Development
Located In: Dallas, Texas
Grew Up In: Ithaca, New York
Graduated From:
Majored In: Hotel Administration/ Real Estate
Graduated In: 2012
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After College Lifestyles

Laura is a Real Estate Development Project Manager in Dallas, Texas. As a Project Manager for the Development of Hotels, Laura manages the construction teams and makes sure the real estate is built on time and within budget. Learn how Laura acquired her job and tour her life after college.

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Name: Laura
Career: Project Manager
Company Field: Real Estate Development
Located In: Dallas, Texas
Grew Up In: Ithaca, New York
Graduated From:
Majored In: Hotel Administration/ Real Estate
Graduated In: 2012

Quick Stats on Real Estate Development Project Management

Work Hours/Week: 45 hours
Work Hour Flexibility: Low
Quality of Lifestyle Outside of Work: High
Work Stress Level: Medium
Level of Routine Work: Low
Interaction with Co-Workers: High
Pay Level (out of 5): $$$$

Life of a College Grad Project Manager


In my position, I manage all teams (architects, contractors, designers, purchasing agents, hotel managers, etc.) through the hotel development process. I work to make sure that everyone is staying on top of the task at hand and working together to create the best product both on time and within budget. A lot of my time is spent coordinating the different teams and working with various parties to plan and implement the development process while taking care of unforeseen situations as they arise.

Project Manager's Daily Routine:

5:30 AM Wake up, head to the gym

8:30 AM Get to work, start answering emails and catching up on what needs to be done today

11:00 AM Weekly project conference call (all architects, designers, contractors, etc.). Discuss issues that have come up and things that need to get done this week.

2:00 PM Set up a call with the building engineers, MEP consultants, and architects to go over the HVAC scope for the project and how we can potentially value engineer the work while taking care of the issues that need to be fixed.

3:00 PM Just got updated pricing from the contractors! Put the revised numbers into a budget comparison and, depending on the outcome (over / under budget) sit down with the other project manager to discuss what needs to be done next (value engineering / approving add alternates if there is room in the budget / etc.)

5:00 PM Start inputting invoices into this month's draw request and make sure that the architects have certified the contractor pay applications and that all lien waivers have been submitted.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Get ready to head home - make tomorrow's to do list. Arrive at home, eat and clean the house.

9:30 PM Sleep!

Real Estate Development Project Manager after college
How To Get Into The Field
I studied general business / hotel administration, but focused strongly on real estate and development. Especially for hotel development, it is important to not only learn real estate development in general, but to also be aware of how the asset functions, as this takes a big part in the development process. I also focused my internships around these two fields (2 summers in management / hotel ops and 2 summers in real estate investment and development).

One thing that I like about my job its that it is very focused on organization. If you aren't good at staying organized, you won't like this job!

What Do You Really Do?
I work in a smaller firm, so I get to work on all phases of development, from initial budgeting to final close out and grand opening. On a daily basis, I work to constantly compare construction cost estimates to the owners budget and value engineer if necessary to keep the project within budget. I also work with the vendors (architects, designers, purchasers, contractors) and the lenders to control all project loan draws (invoicing) and keep track of the funds available. Another big part of my job is coordination - making sure we conduct all of the MEP / HVAC / facade / etc. studies that are required before the renovation begins and analyze these results to make sure that we are taking care of any pre-existing issues within the building during the renovation. When dealing with these project budgets, it is very important that you are spending the budget dollars both on areas of strict need (for example, cleaning up mold or asbestos issues) and also on things that will provide the owner with the highest ROI - things that the guest will be able to touch and experience.
Pros/Cons of Your Job
Pros: It is different everyday. There are always new things coming up and new problems to solve, which keeps it interesting! Also, all projects are a little bit different, so the task is always changing.

Cons: Like many jobs today, its not a 9-5 job. Even at home and on the weekends, the projects will still be underway, and you will be getting emails.

Playing on My Rugby Team

College Grad Life in Dallas Texas

Quick Stats on Dallas, Texas

Job Opportunities: High
Competition for Housing: Low
Housing Cost: Medium
Population of Young People: High
Nightlife: High
Safety: High
Biggest Industries: Everything!

The Life of a College Grad In Dallas, Texas


College Grad living in Dallas Texas

What's it Like to Live Here?
Dallas is a great city, especially for young professionals. There are TONS of young professions who are just starting their careers, and everyone is very friendly! There is always something to do, and the weather is beautiful. There are a lot of great places to go to. And although things are a little more spread out, the motto seems true: everything's bigger in Texas. Summers can be very hot but people here tend to find ways to cool off (and we mostly stay indoors).

How Did I End Up Here?
I grew up in New York and moved to Dallas, Texas for work (this is where my company is located) - totally random move, but couldn't be happier!
My Set-Up
I live by myself in a 1-bedroom apartment. I love living along, and I live in a fun / young neighborhood where there are tons of bars and restaurants within close walking distance.

Closing Advice


Learn and experience as much as you can while you're in college. You're surrounded by intelligent students and very experienced professors - talk to everyone and network as much as possible!

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