Marquette Business students win first place in real estate competitions

Team Marquette who participated in the NAIOP Minnesota Real Estate Challenge pose with their trophy and check.

Last week, two teams of Marquette real estate students won major regional case competitions, marking the first time Marquette has won both competitions in the same year.

The NAIOP Minnesota Real Estate Challenge took place on Thursday, April 21, with Marquette taking first place after surpassing a preliminary round earlier in the day. The final presentation took place in front of the NAIOP Minnesota membership section, with more than 200 professionals in attendance to witness their proposed land parcel development in Shoreview, Minnesota.

Two days later, the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation real estate competition was held in downtown Chicago at Wintrust’s Great Hall, with nearly 100 real estate professionals on hand to see Marquette take top honors in the undergraduate division. The team submitted a proposal to redevelop a site in Chicago’s West Loop where Johnny’s Ice House, an ice hockey rink, training facility and bar, is located.

The NAIOP Minnesota student team consisted of seniors Catherine Botchek (team captain), Michael Jensen, William Powers, and Madeline Warren. The Eisenberg Foundation student team included Jane Eaton (team captain), George Haikal, Jennifer Sims, and Daniel Talar.

The Marquette team who participated in the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation real estate competition pose with their trophy.

Both teams were led by Abiola (Michael) Adetoro, a finance practice instructor at the College of Business Administration, who teaches a course around these competitions called REAL 4330 – Advanced Real Estate Analysis. Adetoro is also a 2015 graduate of the prestigious Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) training program.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our students,” Adetoro said. “They worked as an egoless team, took feedback constructively, and constantly asked questions and made adjustments that made their projects better. Most importantly, they were willing to take risks with ideas and they really took the time to understand the community and create a story that met the needs of all of their stakeholders. They absolutely deserved the feeling of winning these competitions.

Marquette teams have historically done very well in these competitions, including winning the NAIOP Minnesota competition five times (2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020) and the Eisenberg Chicago competition three times (2012, 2018, 2019). The teams have won runner-up honors eight more times combined between the two competitions.

“Being able to participate in a ‘real world’ experience like this during college is the highlight of our team’s semester,” Botchek said. “Regardless of the outcome, we have already gained relationships formed and experiences gained.”

Both student teams will be honored at the Center for Real Estate’s 11th Annual Real Estate Strategy Conference on Wednesday, May 4. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the AMU Ballrooms.

Marquette University Center for Real Estate

The mission of the Center for Real Estate (“CRE”) is to support Marquette University real estate students by providing in-depth learning experiences that prepare them for a fulfilled and successful life. Founded by 45 generous donors in 2008, CRE has had a nearly 100% placement rate for full-time graduates every year since 2012. CRE continues to support the Associates in Commercial Real Estate training program for BIPOC individuals in southeast Wisconsin, which was founded in Marquette in 2004. In 2021, CRE founded the Real Estate Assets Program (REAP), the first classroom real estate investment program for undergraduates in the country, where students analyze, pitch, and manage real estate investment deals as part of a $2 million Equity Fund pledged by a group of investment committee members.

For more information about the Center for Real Estate, please contact Andy Hunt, Vieth Director for the Center for Real Estate, at