Paul Goodwin '12
What you are currently doing for work and what did it take to get there?
I am a project manager in real estate development. This role engages tasks including: aiding underwriting and creating feasibility studies, managing the design team and leading the entitlement process, assisting with financing, performing construction administration, as well as managing early marketing and leasing activities. Geography, and my particular interest in urban and economic aspects of geography, play an important role in understanding the key value driver for real estate investment. I furthered my education and understanding of real estate by attending graduate school. Management skills are key for this role and I was able to develop those through my work experiences which didn't always relate to industry but showed an ability to work with others and make informed decisions with imperfect information.
How did your education in COLA prepare you for life after college?
Geography at UNH was a great experience. The courses were insightful while practical and professors and staff were accessible. Having later attended an elite graduate school, I can attest that access to professors and their insights and mentorship was really invaluable. Additionally, if you goal is not to be academia, an education grounded in the real work applications was highly valuable.
What person or course most influenced you while at UNH? In what way?
There were a lot of great courses and experiences with UNH staff. I guess the most unspected class with lasting benefit was The Geography of Food. This class was a survey course of world cuisine and interrelated culture. The course was then taught by Blake Gumprecht. Blake was absolutely a mentor to my educational goals and learning objectives. He was also a harder than average teacher which demanded your attention and efforts, which I think is essential to fostering the former. This class has stuck with me in unsuspected ways. Ever since this class, when I meet someone from a different culture or region I have something other than the weather to talk about: food. And who doesn't like talking about food! It has become a go-to ice breaker with folks. I might know something about their local food-ways that they have no expectation of anyone but locals knowing or caring about. While this does not directly connect to my work, being able to interact with and build relationships with diverse people is a skill I value and this class contributed to it.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known while at UNH?
I did not seek to connect with alumni and the broader UNH network to leverage their experiences and relationships.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
Identify your strengths, be honest about your weaknesses, seek to improve on your weaknesses, but ultimately make the hard sell on your strengths.