Graduate Student Ambassadors enjoy interacting with potential new students — like you!— and can help answer questions about the program.
Please reach out directly to the Ambassador to learn more about what it's like being a full-time M.S. in Real Estate student.
2023-2024 M.S. in Real Estate Ambassador: ELIANET HERNANDEZ SANTANA
Program (Full-Time, Part-Time): Full-time
Anticipated Graduation: December 2025
Previous Institutions and Degrees: UNC Charlotte, B.S.B.A in Finance
Favorite Place in Charlotte: Whitewater Center
Hometown: Gaspar, Ciego de Avila, Cuba
Dream Job: Real Estate Investor
How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone considering a graduate program? The Belk College of Business is a place of learning, support, understanding, curiosity and exploration. It’s a place full of people who want to see you succeed and who will guide you to become a better version of yourself.
What activities are you involved in when not studying? I like working out and swimming at the University Recreation Center. I also enjoy reading about history and exploring new recipes every weekend.
Elianet Hernandez Santana ’22, ’25, MSRE Ambassador, shares how she found a new direction through the MSRE.
Most people feel lost at one point or another. Sometimes it is simply difficult to know what direction to take. I always felt lucky because I had a sense of direction and purpose. I had a passion for learning and solving problems. However, on the days following my college graduation, for the first time I felt lost.
I had spent my college years working hard on my degrees, working part-time, and helping my father with his small business. As an immigrant family, we all work together to move forward. It has only been 11 years since we moved to the United States as political refugees. In that short period of time we had to start from zero and reconstruct our lives. There were many difficulties but we succeeded thanks to a lot of hard work and determination. During my college years, I focused all of my energies on graduating and making my dad’s business functional without me so I could devote myself to a new career. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to figure out what career I wanted to pursue. I had not found my passion.
"I wanted to create spaces that made a positive difference in the community and that enriched people's lives."
Eventually, I remembered one real estate class I took in my last semester that had left an impression on me. I did some research and realized that UNC Charlotte offers a Master of Science in Real Estate. After meeting with the assistant director of the program, I knew that it was the right fit for me. I had always had an interest in creating and designing spaces in such a way that people could feel comfortable and welcomed. I wanted to create spaces that made a positive difference in the community and that enriched people's lives. Places create behaviors, and I wanted to create behaviors that contributed to the well being of the community. To do that I needed the knowledge necessary and to enter a space where other like-minded people worked towards a similar goal.
I was thrilled when I was accepted into the program! The feeling of being directionless and lost faded instantly. I began to do research, network and prepare myself as much as I could for a new and exciting career.
Since coming to Charlotte, I have experienced kindness, solidarity and many opportunities. I slowly began to love this city and I would love to contribute to improving it and making it a place of opportunity and growth. UNC Charlotte has been the median that enabled me to find my passion and has been a source of knowledge and opportunity. I hope that if anyone feels lost or directionless, that they may find a way to discover their passion. Always remember that dedicating time for yourself is as important as any other priority you have!