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The final of IREC program

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The 10th anniversary edition of an educational program for students of commercial real estate faculties has just finished. This year the European Real Estate Challenge was renamed the International Real Estate Challenge (IREC). Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global real estate services firm, was the exclusive sponsor of the IREC in Poland in cooperation with the Investment and Real Estate Department of the Warsaw School of Economics, Poland, and Kingston University, United Kingdom.

The IREC kicked off in late October 2013 and its final stage was held in Berlin on 15 January 2014. During the two-week workshops ending the program its participants were split into groups and sent off to nine European cities to study the local office property markets and prepare a report as a property consultant to the client. The seventy-two finalists from eleven countries included four students from Poland selected by the representatives of the Investment and Real Estate Department of the Warsaw School of Economics and Cushman & Wakefield’s employees. The final round of the competition was won by a team which indicated London as the new location for the client. The winning team comprised Karolina Wójcik, a Polish student of the Warsaw School of Economics.

In early December 2013, the four Polish students, Professor Marek Bryx and Paweł Nowakowski, IREC coordinator from the Warsaw School of Economics, were all invited to a meeting at Cushman & Wakefield’s Warsaw office with Charles Taylor, Managing Partner of Cushman & Wakefield, Dorota Skowrońska, Head of Human Resources, and other Cushman & Wakefield’s employees. Cushman & Wakefield’s team of the Office and Property & Asset Management Departments held a presentation on the Polish office market, organized meetings in high-profile commercial properties of such companies as Ghelamco Poland, HB Reavis and Aberdeen Asset Management Deutschland AG and provided market reports to help the students project Warsaw as a top investment destination.

Dorota Skowrońska, Head of Human Resources, Cushman & Wakefield, said: “IREC, formerly EREC, has a long history and each year it shows that it is a valuable educational program. Apart from sponsoring the students of the Warsaw School of Economics, we engaged ourselves in the program by looking after the overseas students who came to Warsaw in January 2014. For Cushman & Wakefield, participation in this program is primarily an investment in its future. It is also a source of great satisfaction to us to see talented young people and winners of previous editions as successful professionals involved with the commercial property market, and with Cushman & Wakefield as well.”

Paweł Nowakowski, IREC coordinator, Investment and Real Estate Department of the Warsaw School of Economics, said: “This year the prestigious European universities from countries such as Austria, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Italy have been joined in the program by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, United States. It is a great honour for our department to be part of this exclusive circle and for our students it is an opportunity to show their undoubted potential in comparison with that of students from other countries.”

Charles Taylor, Managing Partner, Cushman & Wakefield Poland, said: “We are really happy that today people who want to become property market professionals can, while still at university, put their knowledge to the test through such contests in situations faced by our employees on a daily basis. IREC is an opportunity for the most active, determined, diligent and open-minded students who are the most sought-after in this industry.”