M.S. in Real Estate Ambassador

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 if there is anything you would like to learn about the M.S. in Real Estate program at UNC Charlotte.

2022-2023 M.S. in Real Estate Ambassador: Kaylah Henderson

Matthew Hillman

Program (Full-Time, Part-Time): Part-Time

Current Employer: Bank of America

Position: Commercial Real Estate Underwriter - Affordable Housing and Historical Tax Credits

Anticipated Graduation: May 2023

Previous Institutions and Degrees: UNC Charlotte, B.B.A. in Finance

Favorite Place in Charlotte: Plaza Midwood area - the main street

Hometown: Winston Salem, NC

Dream Job: Real Estate Developer

What do you hope to accomplish this year in your role as an Ambassador?  To connect with more prospective students and explain the benefits of completing a Master's program even while working full-time.

Life as a part-time student with full time responsibilities 

Kaylah Henderson, M.S. in Real Estate Ambassador, reflects on how she found her rhythm after enrolling in graduate school.   

Kaylah and FianceAfter completing my undergraduate degree at UNC Charlotte, I decided to take a gap year to work, save up some money and decide what I wanted to pursue as a career. Having earned a B.S.B.A. in Finance, my options were broad, but I wanted to narrow down my interests and carve out a career path. In 2020, I had a ton of extra time on my hands due to the pandemic. I told my fiancé that I wanted to pursue a master’s degree and he was supportive. So I began a new chapter of my life by applying to the  Belk College of Business M.S. in Real Estate program, being accepted and starting classes.

I was eager to advance my education and real estate profession when I started my first semester in the MSRE program, but I was also concerned about balancing my full-time employment with pursuing a graduate degree. I immediately tried to figure out what my day would look like doing both, because trust me, full-time responsibilities did not stop when I added additional work to my plate.

It took a while to establish a consistent routine that would allow me to stay on track, but while working to achieve a schedule that worked for me, I learned a few key lessons that everyone considering graduate school should take to heart:

Work, Study and Play

Although you’re in school to work hard and learn, rewarding yourself by playing hard keeps your life in balance. I recently got a puppy and became engaged. My fiancé and I celebrate and enjoy ourselves as much as we can. I prioritize getting my work done so that I can still do the things I love.Kaylah's Dog     

Finding Your Rhythm

Although I only took a year off school, my schedule drastically changed from undergrad to working full time and commuting to work. It took a whole semester to find my rhythm of studying, staying up a little later, getting up a little earlier and completing homework. Be patient with yourself because it takes time to find your rhythm once again.

Benefits and Challenges

I continued to remind myself why I began this journey and that there won’t be any benefits without challenges ahead. Throughout my program, I have faced challenges with switching jobs, learning a completely new skill of financial modeling for real estate, moving out of my apartment and into a temporary home while waiting for my new home to be built, and just being exhausted from having so much on my plate. But there is a reason why I started this program and a reason I will finish it as well.  The skills that the MSRE teaches and the unique hands-on experience that its Student Managed Real Estate Investment Fund provides in investing and asset management will enable me to not just have a job but a career in real estate. Furthermore, going to graduate school has empowered me to build time management habits that I can use to overcome adversity in all aspects of my life. For all these reasons, the benefits of this program will always outweigh the challenges.    

In closing, I hope that by sharing my experiences I can help those new to the M.S. in Real Estate find their own rhythm and stay focused on their goals.