Going the extra kilometer
by Mariah Oxford, College of Business and Public Policy |
Magnus Noroey came to Alaska from Norway in 2019 to study management and compete on the UAA ski team. He will graduate this year with a dual major in finance and management with a property management and real estate concentration, along with a resume that includes membership in student clubs, a summer internship, national awards and academic and athletic travel to several states.
Noroey has fully embraced his UAA experience, even though it started with significant challenges. His first semester was difficult as he adjusted to a new culture and language barriers. The school system is entirely different from that in Norway. So are the grocery stores. “It took me hours just to find the things I needed for a few dinners,” he laughed. Then the pandemic hit. Noroey continued his studies online, using long days to explore Alaska’s trails.
“Skiing here is great,” he said, including the ability to ski right out his front door. Noroey recalled a fabulous day in spring 2020. “Since everything was shut down, we were bored and decided to ski as long as we could in one day. We skied from our home to Kincaid, the Coastal Trail, Hillside and did more laps. When we got back, we had skied 210 kilometers in 12 hours!”
Going the “extra kilometer” just for fun could be the theme of Noroey’s entire UAA career. His interest in real estate management blossomed from a conversation he had with Terry Fields, associate professor of management in UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy. Although he likes math, the concepts in real estate investment were difficult at first. He added a finance major “as a challenge” since he knew it would help his success in real estate.
Noroey helped restart the student Finance Club and serves as secretary of the Property Management and Real Estate Club. He said clubs provide an important social outlet, especially since many students take classes online. “It’s a great place to make friends, especially when you’re a freshman. You can get to know seniors who can tell you about different courses and mentor you.”
The College of Business and Public Policy’s Weidner Property Management and Real Estate Program (WPM+RE), supported generously over the years by Weidner Apartment Homes, has provided many opportunities, he said. “There are scholarships, travel awards and networking events. This fall we met with representatives from 15 local and national companies to learn about internships, graduate programs and jobs. It’s a huge benefit that helps us focus on our plans post-graduation.”
Like many WPM+RE students, Noroey has also networked at the national level. He has received multiple academic and travel awards and has traveled to conferences in San Diego, Las Vegas and Dallas. Early in the summer, he was selected as one of just ten outstanding 2022 student leaders for the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). Through IREM, Noroey has participated in a mentorship program and has met many industry professionals.
"For students that are driven, the WPM+RE Program and the real estate management industry as a whole have a lot to offer,” said Professor Terry Fields. “Magnus is a strong example of that. His initiative opened some doors for him right away and he continued to engage and seek out new opportunities. We are so proud of his national recognition as an IREM Student Leader and his positive representation of our program."
Taking advantage of opportunities and connections has enhanced Noroey’s undergraduate experience: from developing strong relationships with his teammates to meeting potential post-UAA employers and even the donors who have affected his academic career. As a member of the Finance Club, Noroey was one of the first students to work with the new Seawolf Investment Fund. “I got a chance to meet Gary Klopfer, the UAA alum who gave the $1 million donation to start the fund,” he said, “It was super cool to get to talk to him.”
This summer, Noroey worked as an intern in residential leasing for Weidner Apartment Homes, where the employees talked a lot about the company’s founder and chair, Dean Weidner. “He is very respected in the Weidner community,” Noroey said. “I haven’t had the chance to meet him, but feel like I know him just by working there over the summer.”
Weidner Apartment Homes recently pledged another $500,000 to the program for academic and travel awards over the next ten years. “I’m very grateful for that donation,” Noroey said. “I know how important it is for students’ motivation and growth.”
Noroey hopes to find an internship or graduate program in real estate investment next year.
Until then, he has a capstone project in Real Estate Management to complete and a ski season with competitions from Anchorage to New York. The last few kilometers in his UAA journey will be challenging, but Noroey is ready to cross the finish line as a proud and accomplished graduate.