CUHK Business School Students Shine at Cornell PropConnex International Real Estate Case Competition

A group of five students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School took home second place in the 15th Annual Cornell PropConnex International Real Estate Case Competition in New York City.

As the only team from Asia, the students competed against 15 teams from Australia, Canada, Sweden and the US, and were awarded a prize of US$5,000.

Hosted by the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration, Cornell PropConnex International Real Estate Competition is a prestigious event in the real estate industry, participated by top real estate and business schools from around the world. Each team was tasked with an intensive seven-day process of analysing and presenting an actual commercial real estate transaction in the US.

Prior to the competition, the CUHK students underwent a rigorous one-month training programme. The team received guidance from faculty advisors from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, including Professor Desmond Tsang, Professor Nelson Wong, and Dr Ervi Liusman, along with industry advisors such as Gavin So, Vice President of Nan Fung Trinity, and Nancy Wong, Senior Manager, Regional Research & Consultancy at Savills.

Dr Liusman said, “We take immense pride in this outstanding team. Despite encountering numerous challenges, the team maintained an unwaveringly positive attitude. In addition to their technical skills and professional knowledge, we were impressed by their team spirit and ability to support one another in problem-solving, demonstrating that the collective strength of the team is greater than the individual contributions of its members.”

Let’s hear from the winning team about their experience:

Alyanna Desiree Pingol Villanueva (HRE, Year 4):

This competition had a profound impact on my personal and career growth. The rigorous month-long training provided me with invaluable knowledge and skills in the real estate industry, pushing me to new limits. Winning the first runner-up was an added bonus. The true rewards were the strong bonds formed with my teammates and the valuable lessons I learned.

Arnav Sethi (HRE, Year 4):

As a CUHK student, this triumph fills me with immense pride and serves as a testament to the School’s exceptional preparation, enabling me to thrive at the highest level. However, this journey, like any successful one, was not without its challenges. Yet, these obstacles have taught me invaluable lessons that extend beyond practical knowledge. To me, that is the true victory.

Elena Wan Hiu-nam (HRE, Year 3):

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the organisers of this exceptional journey, as it has profoundly enriched my understanding of sophisticated real estate strategies and intricate market dynamics. The invaluable feedback and networking opportunities have significantly contributed to my professional growth and development. I am also grateful for my professors’ unwavering support and my teammates’ collaborative spirit, which augmented our collective growth.

Jolin Chang Jung-lin (HRE, Year 4):

The competition was an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. This invaluable opportunity allowed us to engage with the dynamic world of real estate, analyse complex scenarios and propose innovative solutions. This journey would not have been possible without the support of our professors, mentors and teammates. I am grateful for their commitment to the competition.

Louis Yang Xizhuo (HRE, Year 4):

This competition is my greatest accomplishment in 2023. The result we achieved is undoubtedly the sweetest gift to conclude not only this year but also my entire real estate study so far. I feel sincerely grateful for the opportunity to work with such amazing groupmates and for the guidance and care provided by our professors.